Bangkok Feast To Go Ahead Despite Chefs Protest 2009: Plush Bangkok

Bangkok feast to go ahead despite chefs protest

A plush Bangkok restaurant said Wednesday it would go ahead with a controversial gourmet feast despite the withdrawal of its star French chefs who
protested that no money was going to charity. Lebua hotels and resorts intends to fly 50 of its top-spending guests to an elephant camp in one of Thailand’s poorest regions on April 5 to show them how the other half lives, before returning to Bangkok for a US$300,000 (A$326,000) meal. But the Michelin-starred chefs who were meant to prepare the feast – Jean-Michel Lorain, Michel Trama and Alain Soliveres – balked when they heard no money would be donated to charity, and pulled out. “I don’t feel bad but I feel a little bit disappointed,” said Deepak Ohri, managing director of Thai-owned luxury chain Lebua. “It’s a new initiative and I thought that people would be broad-minded.” The organisers hope the visit to Surin province to see dwindling elephant numbers and the plight of their handlers will spark an altruistic streak in the assembled bankers, casino magnets and real estate moguls. Ohri said that he did not think the chefs understood the concept. “Jean-Michel Lorain called us also and we told him we are doing exactly what Bill Gates has done, called creative capitalism … he said he didn’t want to visit (the) poor area,” Ohri said.
The high-rollers salivating over the prospect of a sumptuous feast paid for by Lebua will however not be left disappointed.

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