Fruit of royal labour
A cornucopia of capability will be on display at the Royal
Project 37 Fair, where Thailand proves it can grow anything
The same chef who had the world's monarchs smacking their lips at His Majesty the King's anniversary banquet last month is now preparing dishes for the upcoming, six-day Royal Project 37 Fair.
Oriental Hotel executive chef Norbert Kostner, who led the kitchen team that fed 25 visiting monarchs on June 13, will be serving a crab and lobster salad and an apple charlotte with lavender ice cream and raspberry compote.
It's just one highlight of the fair, set for August 9 to 14 at the Central Plaza Ratchada-Rama III.
Diners at the royal banquet were impressed that all the ingredients came from His Majesty's own farm project, products from which retail under the Doi Kham brand.
Royal Project 37 in the northern hills raises its own rainbow trout and crayfish lobster as well as vegetables and fruit - including items usually imported, like artichokes and raspberries.
The Royal Project Foundation and Kasetsart University have held the summer fair 21 times since 1989.
This year being an historic one, the fair will pay tribute to the King by distributing the book "Royal Project 37" to visitors. It explains the undertaking and includes His Majesty's June 9 speech to well-wishers from the balcony of the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.
All the latest Doi Kham products will be on display and sale, among them the always-popular cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, fresh strawberries and raspberries.
"This year we have fresh asparagus that's white and quite big," says Prof Dr Kampol Adulavidhaya, the foundation's director of marketing. "There will be baby spinach and white balsam pears as well, and we're introducing salad dressings for the first time. They're made from beetroot, Japanese pumpkin and avocado, so they're in three different colours."
Among the organic products making their debut are baby corn, avocado, persimmon and passion fruit. There will be beverages too.
"For coffee lovers, we are proud to present a coffee planted in the highlands, 1,200 metres above sea level - one of the best espressos in the world," says Kampol.
Calcium-fortified juices made from the freshest lychee and guava will also be on tap, along with dried plums, strawberries and mangoes and a tamarind puree.
And people who want to try growing their own toxin-free vegetables can buy a hydroponics starter kit.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will officially open the fair on August 9 at 3pm, after which chef Kostner will perform his culinary magic.
"People should come so they can see how hard the King has been working on this project," says His Serene Highness Prince Bhisatej Rajani, the foundation's president.
"Every year when His Majesty visits the sites, he gives advice on how we should proceed.
"Everyone who comes to the fair will see that Thailand can produce anything it wishes - including whatever used to be imported from Europe and the US. They'll be even more eager to cheer for the King."