Unveiling the essence of Asia

Culinary Legends Unite: Highlights from the Secret Tables Chefs Gathering 2024!

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Discover the Magic of the Secret Tables Chefs Gathering in Bali 🌿🍽️✨

From the 10th to the 12th of May, the tranquil town of Ubud, Bali, played host to an extraordinary event—the Secret Tables Chefs Gathering. This culinary extravaganza saw a remarkable turnout of talented chefs from the Secret Tables collection, and friends from across Asia. Hosted at the new location of Locavore NXT, the gathering was a testament to the region’s rich culinary diversity and the camaraderie among some of Asia’s most creative and cutting edge chefs.

Participating establishments included the Gileemale Walawwa & Estate from Sri Lanka, The Embassy from Cambodia, Echo and The Governor’s Residence from Myanmar, Herbivore, Locavore NXT, Lotus Group Hotel, Lab X, Restaurant Nusantara, Apéritif from Indonesia, Farmlore from India, Gallery by Chele from the Philippines, Redbox, Blackitch, and Intangible from Thailand, Secret Garden from Vietnam, and last but not least, Au Jardin and Gēn 根 from Malaysia. This impressive lineup underscored the gathering’s prestige and the chefs’ dedication to their craft.

The event commenced with a warm welcome at Night Rooster, where unique cocktails set the tone for an evening of celebration. The festivities continued at restaurant Nusantara, where the guests indulged in authentic Indonesian cuisine, marking a vibrant and tasty start to the weekend.

The following morning, the chefs embarked on a foraging expedition deep into Bali’s lush greenery – a 1-hour scooter ride into the hills and rural heart of Bali. This immersive experience allowed everyone to seek out, discover, and sample local edible plants, herbs, and fruits, that all together showcase the island’s rich variety of delicious produce, nature’s bounty fit for any chef’s table. The morning culminated in a lunch prepared and served in a hut in the jungle featuring Babi Guling (suckling pig) and other delectable Balinese dishes, all crafted from local produce and sharing a truly delicious taste of the terroir.

In the afternoon, Locavore NXT’s new facilities hosted a series of insightful workshops. These included a coffee workshop, a session on making tempeh, and a hands-on tutorial on mushroom cultivation in Locavore NXT’s unique and incredible lab. These activities not only highlighted the chefs’ commitment to sustainability but also provided valuable learning experiences.

As the day drew to a close, the chefs gathered for dinner at the Locavore NXT’s canteen, reflecting on the day’s discoveries and deepening their culinary bonds.

The final day featured a thrilling highlight—a mystery box challenge. The chefs teamed up into seven groups of three chefs each and were then tasked with creating a meal for 45 guests, serving 14 dishes from the secret ingredients in their mystery boxes. This culinary contest was not just for glory, it was designed to serve and support a noble cause. All proceeds from the dinner served that evening were donated to the Sumba Hospitality Foundation to support their valuable work, further reflecting the chefs’ commitment to giving back to the community. This foundation provides education and hospitality training to underprivileged children on Sumba Island.

The Secret Retreats Chefs Gathering was more than just an event, it was a convergence of passion, skill, and heart. Chefs from diverse backgrounds came together, sharing laughter, experiences, and expertise, all at their own expense. Their collective spirit and dedication made the gathering a truly special and memorable occasion.

As the event concluded, participants left with not only new knowledge and friendships but also a renewed sense of purpose. Until next time, the memories of this gathering will inspire and remind everyone of the power of culinary collaboration and the many impacts it can make.

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