On October 15 (2019), Anan Saigon and Karmakamet Conveyance (Bangkok) held an intimate dinner in Saigon where award-winning modern Vietnamese chef Peter Cuong Franklin welcomed Thai chef Jutamas ‘Som’ Theantae into his kitchen.

Chef Franklin’s creative modern Vietnamese cuisine reflects his vision of a ‘new’ Vietnam that is deeply respectful of its history and traditions, yet progressive and international in its outlook.

He takes inspiration from Vietnam’s vibrant regional food culture and uses fresh ingredients sourced from local markets, most notably from Saigon’s oldest operating wet market in the alleyway where his restaurant Anan Saigon is located.

Chef Franklin was also recognised as 2019 Chef of the Year by Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam magazine at their recent Star Awards in Saigon.

Meanwhile, chef Som is currently the executive chef and co-owner of Karmakamet Conveyance in Bangkok and she is recognised as one of the leading and most respected chefs in Thailand.

Chef Som’s dishes are inspired by her travels and experiences with Thai, Asian and French cuisine and have been described as “an imaginative experience through the senses of taste.”

The menu for the evening featured a fusion of Thai-Asian and Vietnamese flavours from the minds of two of the most creative chefs working in Asia today.

Their 10 creative dishes were accompanied by five curated wine pairings from Fleurs de Prairie, Los Vascos and Springfield Estate by Thien Linh Wine and Spirits, which included the debut of Los Vascos Grande Reserve “Carmenere” in Vietnam.

There to capture the dinner was notable Saigon-based food photographer Mike Palumbo, arguably Southeast Asia’s best F&B photographer. We think you’ll agree that his shots are simply stunning.

Here’s what was on the menu.

RAIN FOREST – fresh leaves and vegetables tossed in chlorophyll

SASHIMI – local raw cobia with cucumber, local shiso and Thai chilli

STREET – pho noodles with Karmakamet signature curry, fried egg and pomelo

PRAWN – grilled Mekong river prawn with coconut, lime, coriander, curry

CRAB – Da Lat asparagus puree with Ca Mau crab and Nam Prik Pao chili jam

VILLAGE – complex larb pla, galangal paste, pickled clams, steamed crab, grilled squid, spices

WAGYU – Kagoshima wagyu seasoned with lime, lemongrass and green peppercorn

WEALTH – saffron biryani with sienna spiced lamb and southern curry

LIME – citrus vanilla mousse with curd and kaffir lime leaf and zest

FAREWELL – Indian-Thai inspired dessert with gularb jamun cake, taro and tapioca

All photos by Mike Palumbo. Follow him on Instagram at @mikepalumbo_

For more information about Anan Saigon, visit https://www.facebook.com/anansaigon/

For more information about Karmakamet Conveyance, visit https://www.facebook.com/karmakametconveyance/

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