Sunday, October 19, 2014

Asia Town comes to Sydney for Good Food Month sponsored by Cathay Pacific

David Thompson, Australian born Executive Chef, restauranteur, cookery writer is in town. David is known for his skill and expertise in Thai Cuisine and thanks to Cathay Pacific I had the pleasure of meeting David this afternoon at the Asia Town, a festival of street food held at The Star in Pymont as part of the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month.

David Thompson, who now lives in Bangkok, made his name at Darley Street Thai in Sydney in 1992. He then opened Sailors Thai in 1995. Nahm opened in 2001 in The Haikin hotel in London and received the Michelin star within 6 months. In 2013, Nahm was listed in Asia's 3rd best restaurant and was recognised as one of the Top 50 Restaurants in the world.

3 things I learnt from David Thompson when chatting with him today include:

1) Did you know street food was not the norm in Thailand or the old Siam as it was once called (for those who have seen The King and I musical). Thai people were farmers so usually brought the food, once harvested, back home to prepare and eat. It was not until the Chinese came to Siam that things like, noodles, chopsticks, street-food, spring rolls started to influence Thai food and cuisine.

2) David also predicts that Asian food with its rapid pace in development in quality, variety and fusions and what he has seen living overseas will become even more popular than European food in the coming years. Hmmm... I still like my European food so there should be enough room in the world to cater for both palettes hopefully!

3) Some of the best Asian food is in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's dining scene is rapidly progressing, where quality and various fusions are giving people much more choices in dining experience.

I watched David cook up his stir fried minced beef with chillies and holy basil (neua pat bai grapao). For those who like and can eat spice this dish certainly turned up the heat. Delicious for my palette!

Cathay Pacific are airline sponsors for the Asia Town event held today. If you love taking pictures of your food, you have a chance to win tickets for two to any Asian destination of your choice in Cathay Pacific's vast Asian network. All you have to do is take a pic of your favourite Asian dish or spice then share it with hashtag #tasteasiawithcathay and the destination you would like to visit. That's a tough one but I'd like to visit South Korea, Taiwan, Japan (again), Malaysia, or Hong Kong if I were given a choice.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with some mouth watering pictures from today's Asia Town event held at The Star's Sky Terrace on a gorgeous Sydney Sunday.

David Thompson at his cooking demonstration at the Sky Terrace at The Star in Pyrmont.
The above dish was David Thompson's stir fried minced beef with chillies and holy basil (neua pat bai grapao) that he cooked up during his demonstration at the Asia Town, Good Food Month festival. Very spicy.

Me and the man himself, David Thompson.

The above dish is by Chef Benjamin Cooper from Chin Chin & Kong Restaurant in Melbourne, also specialising in Thai cuisine. Will we see Chin Chin in Sydney soon? Hopefully, it seems! This is Chef Benjamin Cooper's Nahm prik gupi with crispy school prawns against Sydney Harbour backdrop. The best of both Melbourne & Sydney fused together.
Ramen Ikkyu chef master cooked me up this delicious ramen to try (sbove). So fresh, soupy ramen noodles. Love it! Thank you Master Haru. Visit Ramen Ikkyu - they are based on 401 Sussex St, Haymarket in Sydney. 

One of my all time favourites. The above dish was cooked up Hung Leung of Golden Century (393-399 Sussex St, Sydney). This is the Signature XO pippies and prawns with vermicelli.

The above dish is the Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake of cuttlefish & beef) by Chase Kojima of Sokyo.

An amazing and rare event where culinary talents gathered to share some of their tantalising and exotic food with the crowd and it surely set the Sydney dining scene buzzing at the Sky Terrace at The Star today. We were lucky to sample some of the finest Asian street food made with passion by the finest chefs in the world.

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