Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai establishes the vanguard in culinary excellence in Chiang Mai with the launch of Char by Four Seasons, paying homage to the age-old tradition of grilling. Focused on farm-to-table ingredients and premium cuts of meat, over 60 percent of the ingredients is sourced from local farms in Northern Thailand.
Designed by acclaimed architect and landscape designer, Bill Bensley, the beautifully-decorated fire pit is the pièce de résistance of the restaurant. “We are excited to unveil this stunning, new interpretation of a classic concept. Char is a celebration of the grill and fire-pit where clean, crisp flavours are elevated with finesse and flair,” shares Anthony Gill, General Manager, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai and Tented Camp Golden Triangle, “Making a strong connection with the local community is an important goal, as sustainability is key to the restaurant’s success.”
Sparking age-old grilling traditions, over 70 percent of the menu is cooked on open flame
“70 percent of our menu is cooked here,” shares Executive Chef Liam Nealon, who has spent the last six months crafting the dining experience. “Our menu explores the relationship between open flame and high-end produce, rendering each ingredient in a new, and unique way. We work closely with local farmers so that the freshest, seasonal ingredients of Northern Thailand are brought to the fore.” Each recipe is expertly countered with signature sauces and house marinades that deliver the complexity with a punch.
Leading the culinary brigade, Sous Chef Marco Avesani, brings a typical Italian flair to the culinary think-tank at Char. Born in Avesa in Verona, Italy Marco would often visit his grandmother in her country house in San Bortolo delle Montagne as a child. “I was in charge of starting a fire in the pit - we did not have heaters in those days. Food was cooked outside most of the time on an open flame – that’s where the inspiration comes from,” he shares.
Whether roasted, seared or chargrilled, each dish delivers the magic of a fireside dinner experience. Freshly shucked Coffin Bay oysters, and organic figs with goat feta, set the stage, even as black-pork ribs and a table-side steak tartare begin the gambit! “Our wood-fired pit delivers signature specialties with a crackle,” smiles Marco. There is an Australian rack-of-lamb, organic chicken, and a wide selection of steaks, headlined by Black Angus Tomahawk. “Look especially for the salt-crusted Arctic Char which arrives with a crisp oven-roasted crust!” he adds.
Chef’s special repertoire of condiments and dressings is the highlight of the dining experience at Char. “There’s a tangible twist to our special house sauces – srira-char, bacon mustard and pale ale ketchup – created in-house to complement the grilled meats,” says Marco.
Pastry Chef Yanisa Wiangnon delivers a fitting finale to this symphony of food with her selection of smoked and flambéed desserts. “Look for some local flavours too,” she says – her fermented sticky rice in the cheesecake is a winning twist! “My recommendations are the ‘chocolate on fire’, and ‘exotic baba’ with Northern Thailand’s famous Phu Lae pineapple – they won’t disappoint,”