In the quest to provide exceptional and peerless experiences for our guests, the 2024 edition of The Chef Series presents a curated selection of critically acclaimed chefs who have made a unique contribution to the world of gastronomy.
Further names of distinguished chefs from across the globe are to follow when we announce part 2 of the line-up!
Part 1 of our line-up spans cuisines from across Asia and Europe, including a six-hand dinner in October prepared by three of the leading lights of the UK culinary scene. The diverse philosophies and singular culinary styles being presented are united by a dedication to the highest quality of locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Each chef will create a bespoke menu guided by the produce of Langkawi and the organic ingredients cultivated in our zero-waste Permaculture Garden.
The names confirmed for part 1 of the 2024 edition of The Chef Series are:
- February: Douce Steiner of Hirschen, Sulzburg, Germany (two Michelin stars)
- April: Melba Nunis, Kristang cuisine specialist from Malacca in Malaysia
- August: Cristina Bowerman of Glass Hostaria, Rome, Italy (one Michelin star)
- October: Angela Hartnett of Murano, London (one Michelin star), Lisa Goodwin-Allen of Northcote, Lancashire (one Michelin star), Nieves Barragan Mohacho of Sabor, London (one Michelin star), all based in the United Kingdom
Each of the intimate dinners will be held at resort’s spectacular fine dining venue, The Dining Room, overlooking the main pool and the Andaman Sea and surrounding islands beyond, or at the authentic Malaysian dining venue The Gulai House, tucked away in the depth of the rainforest. The alfresco culinary experience is amplified by the stunning backdrop and magical soundscape of the rainforest. Selected chefs will also offer cooking demonstrations, where guests will be able to enjoy a unique hands-on gastronomic education with titillating teasers of what is to come during the main dining events.
The dining events will be accompanied by an exclusive selection of fine wines to complement their celebrated cuisine, all sourced from our judiciously stocked wine cellar with its extensive wine list of over 450 selections that 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 Datai Langkawi since we first opened our doors in 1993.
Previous editions of The Chef Series have welcomed culinary luminaries including Nils Henkel who held two Michelin stars at Gourmetrestaurant Schloss Lerbach Bergisch Gladbach in Germany and now helms Bootshaus at the Papa Rhein Hotel, Bingen, and Tipken‘s by Nils Henkel at the Severin*s Resort & Spa, Sylt, both in Germany; the late Michel Roux Sr of Le Gavroche (three Michelin stars) in London, and The Waterside Inn (three Michelin stars) in Bray, Berkshire, both in the United Kingdom; Tom Aikens from one Michelin-starred Muse in London’s Belgravia; and Michel and Sébastien Bras, who between them hold five Michelin stars at Bras and Le Suquet in Laguiole, France.
For further enquiries or to make a reservation, please call +60 4 9500 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about the chefs who visited us during previous editions of The Chef Series on the bottom of this page.
Douce Steiner is the only female chef in Germany to hold two Michelin stars. Steiner grew up in her parents' hotel and restaurant Hirschen in the small town Sulzburg in South-Western Germany, which is rooted in 500 years of culinary traditions. After learning the ropes as a chef in her fathers' business, she trained with renowned and highly decorated chefs such as Georges Blanc, Fritz Schilling and Harald Wohlfahrt. During her time at Wohlfahrt's Schwarzwaldstube restaurant in Baiersbronn, she met her husband Udo Weiler, whom she married in 1997. Together they returned to the family business in Sulzburg in 1998 and both joined Steiner's father in the kitchen at Hirschen, which had been awarded two Michelin stars in 1995. Steiner took over from her father in 2008, regaining both Michelin stars in 2012.
Of today's culinary industry, Steiner says: ‘It would be nice if all stakeholders in gastronomy worked more closely together, exchanging information on prices for instance, and on many other topics. Everyone keeps to themselves a little too much, and I believe it is essential to give women a greater say. They have a different approach, perhaps a less pretentious one.’
Set Dinner: 23, 24 and 25 February 2024
- MYR 1,300* (set dinner with wine pairing)
- MYR 1,000* (set dinner with non-alcoholic pairing)
*All prices exclude 10% service charge
Born and bred in Malacca, Melba Nunis is a Malaysian Kristang chef and award winning cookbook author. As a child, she spent most of her days in the kitchen with her mother Mercy, absorbing the techniques, recipes and, most importantly, the passion for cooking Kristang cuisine. Her recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and throughout the years she has strived to keep the dishes exactly as they were since the days her great-grandparents cooked them. Her first publication, A Kristang Family Cookbook, contains over 60 delicious and uncomplicated recipes: from fiery favourites like Debal Curry to family recipes like Black Sotong Sambal. Following the success of her first cookbook, she published Everything Kristang to share her delightful heritage with a much wider audience.
Kristang cuisine is still unfamiliar to many, so Chef Nunis hopes to highlight its uniqueness by sharing her family recipes. ‘Kristang cuisine consists of fiery sambals, spicy curries made using dried spices, fragrant coconut, tanginess from tamarind, and fresh ingredients. But there are also non-spicy dishes from the Portuguese, Dutch, and Chinese side,’ she says.
Cooking Class: 21 April 2024
- MYR 600*
Set Dinner: 19 and 20 April 2024
- MYR 750* (set dinner with wine pairing)
- MYR 600* (set dinner with non-alcoholic pairing)
*All prices exclude 10% service charge
Cristina Bowerman was born in Cerignola, a small town in Puglia, Italy. After pursuing legal studies in San Francisco, her culinary interest flourished years later in Austin, where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts, honing her skills and focusing on flavour concentration. In 2005, she moved to Rome and, after an initial experience at Convivio Troiani, joined Glass Hostaria, a restaurant that had opened just a year previously in the city’s Trastevere district. Glass Hostaria is a contemporary and innovative space, both in philosophy and gastronomic offerings, challenging the traditional Trastevere scene - just like Bowerman’s cuisine. Her cooking is a cultural crossroads that tells the story of taste through a constant dialogue between traditions, cultures, memory, and places. Since 2010, she has held a Michelin star and 3 forks from Gambero Rosso, and became a case study at Bocconi University in the same year. From Cerignola to San Francisco and Back – My Life as a Contrarian Chef (Mondadori, 2014) is one of the two published books that highlight this unconventional personality.
Bowerman says of her success: ‘I learnt not to be afraid to be a woman in the kitchen. It’s taken me 10 years to succeed, but I continue to have no fear. We don’t want riches; we reinvest everything back into the business. Ultimately, I want to be a role model for women in the kitchen.’
Angela Hartnett, OBE, is one of the UK’s most loved chefs and restaurateurs, known for her sophisticated yet simple, Italy-inspired cooking. Born in the UK, her passion for good, honest food and the best ingredients was instilled in her by her Italian grandmother and mother. After starting out in the kitchens at Aubergine, Zafferano, L’Oranger and Petrus, Angela became head chef at the latter within seven short months, helping the restaurant achieve a Michelin star. She went on to launch many other restaurants in the UK and overseas and in 2007 was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry. The following year she opened her own restaurant, Murano in Mayfair, where she is Chef Proprietor, and holds a Michelin star. Serving modern, seasonal food with an Italian accent, Murano is one of the few restaurants to hold 4 AA rosettes. In November 2013 she opened critically acclaimed Cafe Murano in St James, a brassier little sister to Murano, and two more London Cafes followed. Angela was the chef judge in BBC1’s Best Home Cook in 2020. In January 2022, Angela was awarded an OBE for services to the hospitality industry and to the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lisa Goodwin-Allen is one of the most innovative and exciting chefs in the UK today. She has been Executive Chef at one-Michelin-star Northcote since October 2017, where she took over the reins at the age of 23. Northcote’s ethos to use local suppliers is close to Lisa’s heart. She believes there are many unsung heroes and new generations developing new products that she likes to discover and work with. Giving back to the industry and training her team is immensely important to Lisa and something that she takes great enjoyment in. In 2017, Lisa was involved in Springboard’s FutureChef, an industry-backed resource aimed at inspiring young people aged 12-16 to cook through classroom activities, demonstrations, competitions and awards. Supporting initiatives within the industry is also paramount to Lisa, and she takes an active role in Hospitality Action, which provides support services to help workers in hospitality get back on their feet again after setbacks.
Nieves Barragan Mohacho grew up in Bilbao in Spain’s Basque region, learning from an early age about the region’s produce and cuisine. In 1998, Nieves came to London and began work at Simply Nico. In 2003, she joined Sam and Eddie Hart as sous chef at Fino. In 2007, Nieves became the group’s Executive Chef ahead of the launch of the first Barrafina restaurant on London’s Frith Street. As Executive Chef for both Fino and Barrafina for ten years, Nieves oversaw the launch of two further Barrafina restaurants (Covent Garden and Adelaide Street) and in 2014 was awarded a Michelin Star for Barrafina Frith Street. In February 2018 Nieves opened Sabor on Heddon Street in London with Jose Etura and in October 2018 the restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star, just eight months after opening – a star they have retained to this day. It has since won numerous prestigious accolades.
In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of The Datai Langkawi in 2023, last year's edition of The Chef Series represented 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 offered 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 five chefs who took residence at The Datai Langkawi over the course of 2023 were:
- 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 (two Michelin stars)
- June 2023, Mano Thevar from Thevar, Singapore (two Michelin stars)
- December 2023, Michel and Sébastien Bras from Bras (two Michelin stars) and Le Suquet (three Michelin stars), Laguiole, France
In 2022, the focus of The Chef Series was on Malaysia, bringing the best of eclectic Malaysian dining experiences to guests of the resort. It took 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 of Malaysia as a multi-ethnic country. This distinguished selection reflected not only the diversity of cuisines and cultures so alluringly characteristic of Malaysia, but also incorporated 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 hosted dining events at The Datai Langkawi over the course of 2022 were:
- January 2022: Johnson Wong from Gēn restaurant in Penang
- February 2022: Masaki Arakawa from Sushi Azabu in Kuala Lumpur
- April 2022: Azli Ahmad from OpenHouse in Kuala Lumpur
- June 2022: Raymond Tham from Beta and Skillet in Kuala Lumpur
- August 2022: Masashi Horiuchi from Entier in Kuala Lumpur
- October 2022: Lee and Chef Yong from Eat and Cook in Kuala Lumpur