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Celebrating its 30th anniversary, The Datai Langkawi announces the 2023 edition of The Chef Series

The Datai Langkawi has announced the 2023 edition of The Chef Series, the resort’s signature dining experience celebrating the very best in gastronomic talent from the region and around the world. Previous editions have welcomed culinary luminaries including Nils Henkel and the late Michel Roux Senior to the resort to showcase their extraordinary skill and talent.

The Datai Langkawi

This year’s series will launch with Tom Aikens from one Michelin-starred Muse in Belgravia, London, and culminate with the return of Michel and Sébastien Bras - who between them hold five Michelin stars at Bras (two stars) and Le Suquet (three stars) in Laguiole, France - in December 2023, to cook for the resort’s 30th Anniversary Finale Event, five years after gracing the resort’s Grand Reopening in 2018.

The stellar lineup of chefs in this forthcoming edition further reinforces The Datai Langkawi’s reputation as a destination for gastronomic excellence. Each of the resort’s four restaurants offers a unique natural setting to elevate the dining experience, including the award-winning The Gulai House, sequestered within the rainforest. The Datai Langkawi also has a judiciously stocked wine cellar to complement its celebrated cuisine, and its extensive wine list of over 450 selections has received international recognition with the coveted Wine Spectator award won each year since the resort’s re-opening in 2018; these are just some of the over 200 accolades attained by the resort since its inception in 1993.

The 2023 edition of The Chef Series represents a compendium of fine dining, encompassing different cuisines, cultures, and styles: haute cuisine from France, contemporary Indian from Singapore, modern eclectic from the UK, new wave cuisine from Malaysia and classic European from the Netherlands. Each chef will offer specially crafted menus featuring organic produce cultivated in The Datai Langkawi’s zero-waste Permaculture Garden, illustrating a shared passion for utilising high-quality locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

The six chefs who will take residence at The Datai Langkawi over the course of 2023 are confirmed as:

  • December 2022, Tom Aikens from Muse, London, UK (one Michelin star)

  • February 2023, Arnaud Faye from La Chèvre d’Or, Èze, France (two Michelin stars)

  • April 2023, Darren Teoh from Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (one Michelin star)

  • June 2023, Mano Thevar from Thevar, Singapore (two Michelin stars)

  • August 2023, Lars van Galen, from ‘t Lansink, Hengelo, The Netherlands (one Michelin star)

  • December 2023, Michel and Sébastien Bras from Bras (two Michelin stars) and Le Suquet (three Michelin stars), Laguiole, France

Each chef will deliver an intimate dining event to guests at the resort’s spectacular fine dining venue, The Dining Room, overlooking the main pool. The alfresco dining experience is amplified by the enchanting sights and sounds of the rainforest together with the stunning backdrop of the Andaman Sea and the surrounding islands. Selected chefs will also offer cooking demonstrations and masterclasses, where guests will be able to enjoy a unique hands-on gastronomic education and prepare their very own culinary creations. Tom Aikens (December 2022)

The 2023 edition of The Chef Series launched in December 2022 with the world-renowned Chef Tom Aikens, the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars at the age of 26. Chef Aikens is the owner and head chef of Muse, an intimate fine dining establishment in Belgravia, London. A year after its 2021 opening, Muse was awarded one Michelin star for its nostalgia-based concept menu. Chef Aikens’ wide portfolio of culinary ventures also includes The Jade Room + Garden Terrace in Tokyo, with another 3 restaurants located in Abu Dhabi, and Tom’s by Tom Aikens in Jakarta, amongst others. Chef Aikens is a passionate advocate of sourcing the highest quality local produce and provenance driven by seasonality and diversity and was a pioneer of the ethically sourced food movement. At The Datai Langkawi, Chef Aikens presented a degustation menu displaying his characteristic creative flair and verve.

Arnaud Faye (February 2023)

Arnaud Faye is the Executive Chef and Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) of La Chèvre d’Or, a 5-star deluxe hotel in Èze, French Riviera, France, where he oversees the hotel’s three restaurants including the gourmet La Chèvre d’Or, awarded two Michelin stars. The cuisine at La Chèvre d’Or is inspired by the variegated terroir of the natural surroundings, from the spectacular azure seas of the Mediterranean to the awe-inspiring rocky valleys and hills of the richly biodiverse Mercantour. Chef Faye’s distinctive culinary style embraces a classic mode while incorporating the high-quality produce cultivated from the rich surrounding landscape. He attributes his hallmark qualities of knowledge, precision, discipline and pursuit of perfection to working under highly esteemed and renowned French Michelin star chefs such as Michel Roth, and is passionate about supporting upcoming gastronomic talent.

Darren Teoh (April 2023)

Malaysian-born Darren Teoh is the Head Chef of Dewakan in Kuala Lumpur, offering modern Malaysian cuisine. The restaurant was recently awarded one star by the Michelin Guide 2023 and voted ‘The Best Restaurant in Malaysia 2022’ by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Chef Teoh is famed for his passion for provenance and for building intricate menus around indigenous ingredients which he feels represent the DNA of Malaysia’s terroir. He has painstakingly traced the sources of many indigenous ingredients throughout the country before reinterpreting the flavours in his inimitable style - imaginative, adventurous, and inquisitive. The restaurant’s name Dewakan is a portmanteau of the words ‘Dewa’ and ‘makan’, in this context meaning food from the gods, and refers to the abundance, uniqueness and diversity of ingredients in Malaysia. By looking at the best seasonal ingredients available and using them without the limitations of a set cultural context, Dewakan takes the liberty of moving the borders of what Malaysian cuisine means.

Mano Thevar (June 2023)

Originally from Penang, Malaysia, Mano Thevar is the Chef owner of the recently awarded two- Michelin-starred modern Indian restaurant, Thevar, in Singapore. At Thevar, traditional Indian flavours and heritage are reborn through different culinary techniques. With his training in the French tradition, Thevar has reinvented Indian cuisine, artfully infusing classical French techniques with Japanese produce and Malaysian Indian flavours to create a truly novel fine dining experience. Thevar stresses the importance of high-quality ingredients in his dishes, emphasising seasonality. He is fastidious in his exploration of spices, flavours and ingredients of the Indian sub-continent and diaspora in his quest to breathe new life into a cuisine that is over 8,000 years old.

Lars van Galen (August 2023)

Chef van Galen is the owner and Head Chef of 't Lansink in the historic district of Tuindorp in The Netherlands. A year after he joined ‘t Lansink, the restaurant was awarded one Michelin star, adding to Chef van Galen’s many professional accolades. He describes the basis of his cuisine as classic whilst combining a modern presentation with meticulous attention to detail where “colours and flavours jump out at you from the plate”. Chef van Galen puts a strong emphasis on the use of high-quality local produce and “cooking with the seasons”, which he believes imbues more flavour to his cuisine, and is also exacting about craftsmanship. He is known for his strong operational ethic and for his focus on hospitality, both of which are evinced by the restaurant’s reputation for its character and warmth as well as its exceptional service.

Michel and Sébastien Bras (December 2023)

Michel and Sébastien Bras are the revered father and son duo behind the highly eminent restaurants Le Suquet and the eponymous Bras, both in Laguiole, France; Toya in Hokkaido, Japan; and La Halle aux Grains at the Bourse de Commerce in Paris, which recently opened to much fanfare. The Bras’ culinary vision aims to celebrate the rich terroir of their native Aubrac, as exemplified by Le Suquet, which has held three Michelin stars for 18 years; whilst the two- Michelin-starred Toya recreates Aubrac cuisine through the abundant bounty of Hokkaido; and La Halle aux Grains transports guests from Aubrac to Japan to Paris on a unique journey using plant-based food as its starting point. The Bras expound nature as their essence; they tirelessly champion local produce, particularly the use of indigenous vegetables, and work with sustainable and ethical producers to preserve the natural world and conserve traditions. Their commitment to nature is reflected in their exceptionally crafted and balanced cuisine.

Arnaud Girodon, General Manager of The Datai Langkawi, comments: “Exceptional dining in the splendour of the rainforest setting has always been a quintessential part of The Datai experience. With The Chef Series, we have been honoured by some of the very best gastronomic talents from around the world, cementing our commitment to providing exceptional dining to our guests. The last few years have seen a sea change in the industry, with a move towards a more natural or conscious approach to dining through emphasising seasonality, provenance, and local produce. Our award-winning guest chefs all advocate the primacy of these aspects - which privilege the quality of the ingredients, imbuing flavours with nuance and subtlety and elevating the richness of the overall experience. Their philosophies resonate very much with The Datai Langkawi’s dedication to sustainability, working in harmony with nature and supporting local and ethical producers and artisans who share our vision.”

For more information on The Chef Series and to make a dinner reservation for any of the events of The Chef Series 2023, please visit the dedicated website for The Chef Series here www.thedatai.com/events-and-occasions/the-chef-series

Trailfinders (trailfinders.com; 020 7368 1200) offers seven nights at The Datai Langkawi from GBP2,169 per person, including daily breakfast, return international flights and private airport transfers. Price based on two adults sharing, for selected departures in June 2023.


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