Four Seasons Bangkok WGF: William Ledeuil and his Thermomix

Posted on September 18, 2006 by Aun

Of all the great chefs that flew into Bangkok for the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok’s World Gourmet Festival and cooked their hearts out over the past week, the one that impressed me the most was Chef William Ledeuil. This always affable, enthusiastic and humble chef runs one of Paris’ hottest restaurants, Ze Kitchen Galerie. The International Herald Tribune has called Ledeuil’s establishment a “delight”. The New York Times has said, “the cooking shows unbridled creativity and a sense of fun.” Ledeuil first made his name at Les Bouquinistes, a Guy Savoy bistro. There, he prepared fresh, modern French food. Today, at Ze Kitchen Galerie, he cooks what he calls simply “contemporary cuisine”. Not contemporary French mind you. Just contemporary. Others might also call his food, for lack of a better term, fusion.

Ledeuil, who has a wealth of classical training, is in love with Asian produce, especially the herbs and spices of Southeast Asia. His cuisine draws upon these inspirational ingredients to produce a range of fantastically exciting dishes. At the World Gourmet Festival, I had the pleasure of attending Chef Ledeuil’s cooking class, one of his 5-course dinners and also of having an encore of what I consider the best dish of the week during the WGF’s gala dinner, a seabass ravioli with capsicum lemongrass condiment and shellfish broth (pictured at the top of this post). When this dish was presented at the 8-course gala, it caused quite a sensation. You could smell the lemongrass in the air as the waiters and waitresses carried the plates into the room. A super-light but amazingly flavourful foam covered the ravioli, which was steamed to perfection. The fish inside was deliciously tender and the capsicum lemongrass sauce under it added the perfect hint of complexity.

Chef Ledeuil’s five course dinner menu was as follows: layer of daikon and shrimp flavoured with Thai basil and tarama lemongrass; beet root and confit of ginger gaspacho with cucumbers filled with crabmeat, avocado puree and salmon roe; the seabass ravioli; grilled lobster and Bouchot mussels with lemongrass and crustacean jus; and mango cappuccino with coconut ice cream and banana papaya emulsion. During Ledeuil’s cooking class, I was thrilled to watch him make the seabass ravioli that I had fallen in love with just a few days earlier. Unfortunately, because Chef Ledeuil had originally planned to make the dish with different sauces, the recipe he handed out was different from what he showed us. If you want to check out Chef’s Ledeuil’s recipes for yourself, he released a cookbook called Les Couleurs du Gout (The Colours of Taste) two years ago. Chef very generously passed me a copy. It’s stunning and I urge you to buy a copy. The only problem (for me at least) is that the book is in French which means I’ll be spending many a night brushing up on my very, very rusty Francais.

In addition to wowing me with his cooking, Chef Ledeuil also wowed me with something I had read about but had never gotten to actually see up close, a Thermomix. Ever since I had heard about these amazing machines that single-handedly weigh, chop, blend, knead, whip, and cook (yes cook!), I’ve wanted to check one out and see it in action. Chef Ledeuil swears by them. He told me he can’t imagine cooking without one. I was thrilled when he invited me into the kitchen to watch as he prepared some of his sauces with the one he carried all the way to Bangkok from Paris.

The Thermomix is very cool. It allows you to precisely measure ingredients and blend them at 11 different speeds (1-10 plus a turbo setting). Most amazingly, you can heat your ingredients at 7 different temperature settings, ranging from 37 degrees Celsius on up to 100 degrees Celsius. The consistency of the sauces that Chef Ledeuil made were brilliantly smooth and nicely heated through. Having finally seen a Thermomix in action, all I can say is, “Oh my God, I want one!” Of course, I’d like to cook like Chef Ledeuil as well.

ZE KITCHEN GALERIE
4, rue des Grands Augustins
Paris 6
Tel: 01 44 32 00 32

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About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. Michael September 19, 2006 at 8:07 am

    That just looks awesome, I am jealous

  2. David September 19, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    I’ve been trying to justify the purchase of a Thermomix for a long time. It’s my dream machine!

  3. amanda September 19, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    I don’t think “jealous even describes how envious i am of you’re recent experiences! how absolutely amazing. and the thermomix looks crazy. i don’t know where i’ve been, but i’ve never even heard of it before. An all around stellar post!

  4. christine (myplateoryours) September 19, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    I know someone who swears she can’t live without her Thermomix and I too have never seen one in action. This is the closest I’ve come — so thanks!

    The question I have now is not just how can I afford this miracle machine, but where on earth would I put it –unless it’s so handy that I can toss out some of the other appliances I once thought I absolutely had to have. Sigh…

  5. Vivilicious September 20, 2006 at 1:53 am

    I just had the pleasure of dining at Ze Kitchen Galerie last week. While Chef Ledeuil was already in Bangkok, the food was still fantastic and all four of us absolutely adored every single dish that hit the table. I’m so envious you got to see him in action! And maybe I’ll get a Thermomix if I’ve got a couple thousand dollars to spare ;-). Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures when you’re back in town.

  6. the yUmMie dUmMieS September 20, 2006 at 9:56 am

    The thermomix looks AWESOME!

  7. Anonymous September 21, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    Does anyone know where the Thermomix is being sold in Singapore?

  8. lobstersquad September 21, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    Thermomix is the most addictive thing ever. I really couldn´t live without mine, even though it´s the older model, and only has temperature settings down to 40º.

  9. Chubby Hubby September 22, 2006 at 8:25 am

    Hi Anonymous. It’s not being sold yet, but I do know two kitchen appliance distributors who are now looking into it. I’ve talked to both in the past week and they’ve both written to Germany asking about this.

    Alternatively, you can buy it in Australia.

  10. Anonymous September 22, 2006 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks Chubby Hubby. The Thermomix site says Lux Asia is their Singapore dealer but I called Lux Asia and they say it’s not in yet. Sorry for my anonymity – I’m shopping for a pressie for someone who reads your blog religiously.

  11. Chubby Hubby September 22, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    Hiya, from my understanding, Lux Singapore has no intention of bringing it in. Thermomix.com.au is the best bet and the way I’m thinking of getting mine.

  12. joanne May 16, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Hi. I’m from Australia and I just got my thermomix yesterday. I’m wondering whether S’pore now has it.Am thinking of asking an aunt to get one. Can you let me know? Thanks.

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