German-Thai cook-off celebrates diplomatic ties

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German television star Reiner Calmund and Thai chef Sirichalerm “McDang” Svasti put on their own version of the “Iron Chef” cooking competition to help celebrate 150 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The June 7 culinary event at Bangkok’s Kempinski Hotel attracted a full guest list of dignitaries, including Ambassador Rolf Schulze and his wife Petronella; German Chiang Mai Consul Ingo Winkelmann; top executives of the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce; charity officials and business owners with ties to Germany.

(From left) Radchada Chomjinda, Winfried Schaefer, his friend, and Rene Pisters have a look at what Reiner Calmund has cooked up.(From left) Radchada Chomjinda, Winfried Schaefer, his friend, and Rene Pisters have a look at what Reiner Calmund has cooked up.

Radchada Chomjinda, head of the Human Help Network Thailand, and two other women joined Calmund on stage as assistants in the cook-off. Together they whipped up Pikeperch with creamy sauerkraut and cappuccino of curry and lemongrass, seared Japanese Wagyu beef tenderloin with baby zucchini sautéed in olive oil. For dessert it was La Scodella Dimitri a la Angelo Conti Rossi.

The two chefs, Calli (left) and McDang, celebrate a great night.The two chefs, Calli (left) and McDang, celebrate a great night.

At the opposite end, “Chef McDang” concocted a roasted Thai eggplant dish, an herb-infused broth with green mango and chili peppers and shrimp and poached salmon in a light curry broth, among other dishes.

Sponsored by more than a dozen companies, the evening celebrating ties begun in 1862 was a relative bargain at 1,862 baht each for the gourmet meals and raised money for charity.

Many might wonder why the price for this evening was exactly 1862 baht. Well, this was the year in which Germany and Thailand began their diplomatic relations – exactly 150 years ago.