Swedish hoteliers, 137 Pillars team host organic food, wellness festival

Fans of all things healthy, organic, and any wellness modalities that support longevity should here take notice! 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts is for the first time bringing its ‘Asian Organic Gourmet Festival’ (previously hosted in Chiang Mai) to Bangkok.

There, the Swedes at luxury hotel 137 Pillars Suites & Residences in Bangkok, General Manager Björn Richardsson and CEO Christopher Stafford is about to cook up a storm, with good help from top-notch chefs primarily from the Asia-Pacific. During four days no less than three gala dinners, plus a closing Sunday brunch are on the programme, bringing together all the exciting chefs that are flown in for the occasion (supported by Turkish Airlines that will also showcase premium Turkish coffee) together.

The fourth Asian Organic Gourmet Festival (AOGF) that takes place at the luxury boutique hotel down Sukhumvit 39 (near Emporium) during 22-25 March will also feature a ‘Farmers’ market’ on the lush lawn of the hotel and a full day with wellness experiences.

Swedish hotelier Christopher Stafford and Lifestyle/Nutrition Coach Judith Coulson-Geissman

The Swedish wellness consultant Henrik Olofsson is included in this, who has a background in the fitness industry in Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore – three times named the ‘Fittest Man in Thailand’! Henrik will hold a ‘Balance and Movement Class’. Along with Ron Veldhuis he will share insight on how to lead a healthier and happier life through carefully choreographed presentations and demonstrations. Guests can also try Kung Fu and Qi Gong or attend a ‘Spa Wellness Cuisine Cooking Class – presented by Executive Sous Chef Anchalee Ponrungsit together with Wellness Specialist/ Lifestyle & Nutrition Coach Judith Coulson-Geissman.

Judith will also hold a ‘Food as Medicine and Nutrition Class’. “I will introduce you to things you might have forgotten about – things that have been in the Thai traditional kitchen – used on a daily basis – that have the same or even the better properties than the super foods you probably buy for 200 – 300 baht in the shopping mall today to keep yourself healthy.”

Photo: Dennis Thern

AOGF is a key branding event which fits perfectly with this Thai luxury boutique brand’s focus on enhancement via experiential content that give guests a new level of connectivity into the community. This includes CSR activities, such as AOGF, which will also has a charity auction to support The Beaumont Partnership Foundation (established to help serve needy communities in Thailand and provide education to rural children free of charge).

“The Asian Organic Gourmet Festival proved extremely popular in Chiang Mai and it’s already started to create quite a buzz here in Bangkok. With a Farmers’ Market, Cooking Classes, a Wellness Day, and of course the luxurious and indulgent daily Gala Dinners, there is something for everyone. It’s going to be an outstanding few days of fun and delicious organic food prepared by some of the very best chefs!” promises Björn Richardson, General Manager of the 137 Pillars Suites & Residences.

“The concept behind Farmers’ Market is that organic food suppliers will form the bulk for all the food menus we present during the event,” says Christopher Stafford. “The intention is also to open this market to more and more people.”

Photo: Dennis Thern

Chef Anchalee also does not hold back on the promise of something out-of-the-ordinary: “We’re going to put on a culinary show the likes of which Bangkok has never seen before, I can’t wait!”

The invited chefs are: Javier Rodriguez from Santiago del Estero in the very north of Argentina; Colin Chung from Hawaii (a celebrated chef who has worked for many years in New Zealand and today lives in Fiji); and Tolgar Mireli, one of the most successful and celebrated chefs to come out of Turkey. The main highlight for the guest chefs will be their respective Gala Dinner, at Nimitr restaurant, in partnership with the in-house Thai chefs team. They will all put together a menu of the finest organic food paired with carefully scripted organic wine to create a culinary journey that promises to impress even the most sophisticated gourmands.

Christopher elaborates on the festival as holistic, via a wide range of experiences: “With this festival we combine organic food and organic champagne with lifestyle and wellness. So ‘organic‘ is a small part of a bigger picture.”

The festival is in line with 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts focus on delivering on what the luxury guest of today often yearns for, which is a place to rejuvenate their senses and where each individual is given time, care and attention from a team engaged in passionately curating the experience of every guest.

“Often long distance international travellers are coming in here. When arriving they can get sleep therapy, and we try to make the traveller as comfortable as possible, coming to a different time zone. This is where we see the opportunity to perhaps differentiate a little bit from our competitors in the world of hospitality, where organics is obviously a fundamental part of that. We believe in organic food and essentially in well prepared daily fresh food,” says Christopher.

Photo: Dennis Thern

“When we travel we normally break with the schedule we have at home when it comes to healthy eating and exercising. We have our health-conscious food and the ingredients we really like when we are at home but when we travel we do not find the same kind of quality or the same diversity of food when we arrive at the destination,” says Judith Coulson-Geissman.

“137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts has tried over the last couple of years to ensure that at least travellers find the quality of food, by getting more and more organic food into the house and also making sure the food that comes on the table is as least processed as possible and also by reducing the things we all know we should reduce; sugar, fat and salt.”


See also: Swedes in Thai hospitality: Building pillars of excellence

General Manager Björn Richardsson
Photo: Dennis Thern
Photo: Dennis Thern

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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