The Datai Langkawi, Malaysia is delighted to announce the 2022 edition of The Chef Series. This year the focus is on Malaysia, bringing the best of eclectic Malaysian dining experiences to guests of the resort.
The Chef Series is a signature dining experience of The Datai Langkawi, it has previously welcomed culinary luminaries such as Michel and Sébastien Bras, Michel Roux, Nils Henkel, and other acclaimed Michelin-starred Chefs from around the world, showcasing their peerless talent to guests in the beautiful setting of the resort’s ancient rainforest.
‘Eclectic Malaysia’ takes its cue from the Malaysian fine dining scene with a programme featuring six local and international Chefs with restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, representing the acclaimed and the vanguard in the multi-ethnic country. This distinguished selection not only reflects the diversity of cuisines and cultures so alluringly characteristic of Malaysia, but also incorporates more recent gastronomic and cultural influences from abroad, with culinary styles spanning traditional, modern and new wave Malaysian, as well as creative takes on international cuisine.
The six Chefs that will take residence at The Datai Langkawi over the course of 2022 are:
- 06-07 January: Chef Johnson Wong from Gēn restaurant in Penang
- 25-27 February, Chef Makoto Saito Sam from Sushi Hibiki in Kuala Lumpur
- 22-23 April: Chef Azli Ahmad from OpenHouse in Kuala Lumpur
- 17-18 June: Chef Raymond Tham from Beta and Skillet in Kuala Lumpur
- 18-19 August: Chef Masashi Horiuchi from Entier in Kuala Lumpur
- 06-07 October: Chef Sricharan Venkatesh from Nadodi in Kuala Lumpur
Each Chef will deliver intimate dining events to guests of the resort, creating specially crafted menus that fully embody their unique culinary style and philosophy. For their exclusive menus, the chefs will focus on local ingredients, especially what they can hand-pick from the resort’s own permaculture garden where the resort team grows turmeric, chilli, lemongrass, pandan and many more ingredients essential to authentic Malaysian fare. Fresh fish and seafood will be predominantly sourced from local fishermen and organic chicken is available from a nearby kampung (traditional village) partnered with The Datai Langkawi. Some of the chef residencies will be accompanied by cooking demonstrations and a cooking class, where guests will be able to enjoy a unique hands-on gastronomic experience creating and enjoying their very own culinary creations, under the guidance of the Chefs themselves.
Arnaud Girodon, General Manager of The Datai Langkawi commented: “Dining in the splendour of the rainforest setting has always been a quintessential part of The Datai experience, and with The Chef Series we have been honoured by a rich array of talents from here and abroad. The last few years has seen a rise in innovative culinary flair in Malaysia, creating a dynamic fine dining scene. We want to celebrate this exceptional talent and have dedicated the 2022 series to them. Our Chefs have been selected to showcase the wide range of philosophies and backgrounds that have contributed to Malaysia’s eclectic fine dining experiences, but they are all united by a common purpose: the passion of their craft and the pursuit of excellence.”
The Datai Langkawi has a beautiful variety of settings to impeccably host and create the perfect ambience to augment these different cuisines: from The Dining Room, overlooking the rainforest with views of Tarutao Island in the distance; to the oceanfront at The Beach Club, against the backdrop of the mountains; to the award-winning The Gulai House, built in the traditional Malay kampung house style for an authentic dining experience.
The ‘Eclectic Malaysia’ edition of The Chef Series launches in January with Chef Johnson Wong, one of Malaysia’s most innovative and exciting young talents. Chef Wong will take up residency at The Datai on 6 and 7 January 2022 to present a gastronomic menu in which traditions and tastes from the past are imbued with new life through a deft infusion of contemporary innovations.
Chef Wong is the Head Chef and owner of Gēn, which he opened in 2017 to critical acclaim at the young age of 26. His recent accolades include the Golden Chef Award of the Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival in 2018 and the inclusion of his restaurant Gēn in William Reed’s Asia’s Extended 51-100 Best Restaurant 2021.
Chef Wong’s philosophy is to combine exceptional local ingredients with subtly nuanced flavours derived from Malaysia’s diverse cuisines. Uniting flair with invention, his culinary creations are unexpected and entirely refreshing, creating a sophisticated taste that is at once novel, yet hints at joyous nostalgic flavours and memories from the past.
Graduating from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu School in Sydney in 2008, Chef Wong’s career trajectory included Rockpool in Sydney, Joel Robuchon in Macau, and the two Michelin-starred Noma in Denmark, as well as stints in Dubai and Paris. In 2015, he returned to Malaysia to undertake the role of Head Chef at Macalister Mansion hotel in Penang.
Over two evenings, Chef Wong will provide a unique gastronomic experience for guests at the resort. Each event will feature a special dinner at the resort’s fine-dining venue, The Dining Room, overlooking the main pool. The menu will include a selection of Chef Wong’s signature dishes as well as new creations exclusively conceived for The Datai Langkawi.
Chef Wong is looking forward to his residency at the rainforest resort and comments: “I love The Datai Langkawi, where the abundant island is teeming with fish and wildlife. The magic in Langkawi flavour lies in its seafoods, spices and herbs.”