Thimphu, Bhutan – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
On September 14 and 15, 2012, Eric Ripert, the celebrated chef of New York’s Le Bernardin restaurant and widely considered one of the best chefs in the world, will be preparing two extraordinary celebratory dinners at Amankora Thimphu for guests of the resort.
This event marks the first time ever that a Michelin-starred chef will cook in the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan, and Chef Ripert will combine signature Le Bernardin-style French technique with the unique local ingredients and flavors of Bhutanese cuisine.
Bhutan is the last remaining Buddhist Himalayan Kingdom. Following the two landmark dinners, Chef Ripert, a practicing Buddhist, will travel throughout the country — visiting all five of the lodges on the Amankora circuit across valleys in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang. In addition to seeing temples and dzongs, getting blessed by and meditating with monks, and sampling some of the unique foods of Bhutan, including the national dish ema datse (chilies and cheese), Amankora will arrange for him to forage for chanterelle mushrooms, sample and cook with matsutake mushrooms (a highly prized culinary delicacy with a limited season), dine in private homes, visit local markets, experience the harvesting of local red rice, and dine in a charming, traditional, candlelit potato shed. The current executive chef of Amankora Thimphu, Matthew Schaefer, was formerly a sous chef at Le Bernardin and will introduce Chef Ripert to Bhutan’s culinary highlights – including the lodge’s signature Yak Attack sandwich!