New Executive Chef at Tables Grill tackles Bangkok's culinary scene with Healthy French Cuisine
There’s a new chef in town. After a short limbo period between chefs, finally, Tables Grill at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok has found their match. After three years at the one Michelin-starred Sir Elly’s at The Peninsula Shanghai, Chef Hans Zahner has found a new permanent residence as Tables Grill’s new Chef de cuisine.
Chef Hans, although German sounding, is actually very French, and one who enjoys working out incessantly and focuses on good, healthy food. Chef Hans Zahner talks with Bangkok Foodies about what he plans to implement in the culinary scene of Bangkok, and we can assure you it’s not what you expect of European cuisine. Healthy French fine dining with a Thai twist? Hmmmm. I guess you’ll just have to find out for yourselves.
BKF: After spending three years at the one-Michelin-starred “Sir Elly’s” at Peninsula Shanghai, what convinced you to leave that behind and start afresh in Thailand?
Hans: Since I knew Michelin Guide has arrived in Bangkok, I wanted to come here.
BKF: So far, what are the major differences you are experiencing between Shanghai and Bangkok?
Hans: Local produces, vegetable, spices, ingredients.
BKF: Your inspiration originally came from your Grandmother’s cooking, can you tell us what were some of your most beloved dishes and have you made your own versions of these at Sir Elly’s or will there be any at at Tables Grill?
Hans: At Sir Elly’s, they change the menu every quarter and add special ingredients such as truffles and caviar. I really enjoyed incorporating new Asian ingredients into my cuisine. At Tables Grill, I use the freshest ingredients so it tends to be seasonal dishes and I love cooking light flavours with a fresh and healthy spin.
BKF: What style of menu will you bring to Tables Grill at the Grand Hyatt Erawan? Something that Bangkok residents may be familiar with or some never seen before?
Hans: I believe in using the freshest seasonal ingredients. I like cooking with lighter flavours and highlighting them in health-orientated ingredients and cooking methods. Good food doesn’t need to be rich. It can also be delicate.
BKF: What is the one dish on the new Degustation Menu (if you have to choose only one) that is most representative of your personal style?
Hans: ‘Alaskan Royal King Crab,’ because I love Thai food and for this dish, I created a Thai curry foam and add Thai herbs, fresh galangal, with dried tomato and egg custard.
BKF: Are the dishes on the new six-course Degustation Menu mostly French, or are any inspired by local Thai flavours?
Hans: This brand-new six-course menu is designed to take you on a culinary journey, from France to China to Thailand. I try to incorporate Asian ingredients into authentic European cuisine. For instance, the Thai red curry foam in our Alaskan Royal King Crab.
BKF: Now that you are new to Bangkok, what are you doing with your spare time or what activities you have found to enjoy or discover since settling here?
Hans: Workout, sport activities.
BKF: Any other exciting culinary additions or activities coming up at Tables Grill we should look out for?
Hans: Ultimately, our F&B team at Tables Grill serves modern European cuisine. With my new appointment and French background, I will be bringing a sophisticated French flair to the celebrated Tables Grill. The restaurant is already very popular, especially with the Sunday brunch, which is also now available on Saturday. However, I hope to bring more refinement to the cuisine. Combining the amazing local produce in Thailand and my classic French techniques, I want to showcase a series of new dishes to our guests; dishes with a fresh and healthy spin.
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, 494 Rajdamri Road, Bangkok 10330
Tel: +66(0) 2 254 6250