Eating/Drinking  •  Epicuriousities

Meals of the Imagination, Guest Lists of Fantasy

What do you get when you pick random chef’s names out of hat and ask them to create unusual fusion foods? The unexpected and enjoyable Appia Guest List.

Text and Photo
June 28, 2017
What makes a good Guest List? We would say a combo of people who wouldn’t normally get together but, when they do, good vibes are guaranteed and something special happens. This is exactly what the Appia Guest List has delivered: unexpected gatherings where we are surprised by what the chefs have to offer.

So what is this Guest List exactly? About a year ago, the chefs of Bangkok—the ones who are a testament to how foodie Bangkok has become—put their names in a hat from which a few were picked. They would cook together at Appia (on Monday when the restaurant is closed), under a concept that would be different from what they usually offer, and with part of the proceeds going to a charity of their liking.
The first Guest List was Chino Latino—bringing to mind Gong Li in Miami Vice. When imagining Chinese-Cuban food or Chinese-Spanish cuisine, we picture colorful food that is at once spicy and pungent. The thing is, Chinese-American food is an actual cuisine and when you think about the expanding Latino population in North America, it is inevitable that such fusion cuisine would become a thing. Under the capable hands of Chef Prin of Nahm and Chef Nan of Little Beast, together with Paolo Vitaletti and Jarrett Wrisley of Appia, an unforgettable meal of baos and tacos was delivered: fun food, eaten family style, paired with great wine from Wine Garage. That is the formula of the Guest List.

What followed was Mambo Italiano, in which Bo Songvisa and Ton Tassanakajohn made Mafioso Italian: two Thai chefs cooking Italian by way of the USA—let’s face it, Italian red sauce in the US of A is nothing like its Roman equivalent, especially when prepared by two Thai maestros.
It’s a challenge for the chefs to cook different foods, and for us, the guinea pigs, to test their cuisine. The June Guest List found Chef Prin back at the helm, this time joined by Chris Miller and Anita, of a Malayan Airline to Malacca, taking us on a journey of Straits Chinese food or Peranakan food served as airline food would be: in foil boxes. Think sambal, laksa, and rendang paired with the most refreshing Gruner from Wine Garage.

Real airplane food does not taste this good nor this fresh, but what the chefs did with their captains hats and the lovely stewardesses on the menus was remind us that food is a journey and dinner is an experience, one to be shared. And, after the last bit of rice is scooped up and the last drops of wine are drunk, there is still that memory of coming together to experience food that one has not experienced before, prepared by chefs who must also take a journey from what they usually make. We can’t wait ’till the next one.