With the Tatler Ball 2017 proving to be a resounding success, let's take a peek at what went on behind-the-scenes in the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur kitchen to feed over 500 of society's elite that night.
We sat down with chef Olivier Pistre, the executive chef of the hotel, before the ball to speak about all things food. The bubbly chef chose to craft a menu that would reflect the foods the French typically ate during autumn.
With the hard work put in by the chef and his team, guests had the chance to sample amazing delights at the ball, with duck foie gras confit, seared Hokkaido scallop and butternut pumpkin velouté and Australian Wagyu tenderloin being resounding hits.
For chef Pistre, timing and coordination is everything. "Our challenge in the kitchen is the timing. If the event is not in sync with the kitchen, it can be problematic," he said. "It's like ballet,".
Preparation for Tatler Ball starts as early as two weeks before the event itself, beginning with the making of the ice dome needed for the trou normand, the palate cleanser served before the main course.
The actual preparation begins two days before the ball, with the sauces and ingredients needed for the first and second courses taking priority.
The blackcurrant sorbet for the trou normand is made a day before the ball, while garnishing and other fresh produce, such as vegetables, are prepared on the day itself for optimal freshness.
The two options for the main course, an Australian Wagyu tenderloin and a slow cooked Atlantic black cod fish, are prepared à la minute on the night itself, meaning made to order and served immediately.
"On the day of the ball, we come in at 6:30 to 7:00 in the morning to begin work," said chef Pietre. "Everything needs to be planned in advance because there is very little control on the day itself," he added.
Even with all the work that goes into making sure all Tatler Ball guests are well fed and satisfied, the jovial chef himself felt energised and ready to show his culinary capabilities before the ball.
And judging by the response guests had towards the food at the ball, we're happy to say chef Pietre and his team at Shangri-La nailed it.
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