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Soneva Jani unveils new dining concept, Guess Who’s Cooking?

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Soneva has unveiled Soneva Jani’s newest dining experience: Guess Who’s Cooking.

This dining experience has a secret menu concept, where the diners won’t know which chef is cooking or what cuisine they will be enjoying until just before the meal. The kitchen is housed within the walls of a Bedouin tent, and whilst there is room for dining inside the tent in case of rain, the main experience is on the beach.

The chefs who will be featured include Soneva Jani’s specialty chefs, visiting chefs from Soneva Fushi and Soneva Kiri, as well as international visiting chefs.

A rough idea of the menu will be revealed on the day of the experience, but only once diners are seated at the tables on the sand will the chef emerge from the cooking tent to present the menu in all of its glory – outlining the concept, ingredients and their inspiration for the dishes.

Soneva Jani hopes that this ever-changing roster of chefs will highlight the culinary prowess of Soneva’s chefs and those visiting the resort. The lack of a menu paves the way for innovative and exciting dining, if a guest chooses Guess Who’s Cooking twice during their stay, they should be able to enjoy two distinct experiences.

Examples of the line-up of Soneva’s chefs include: Chef Kat (Thai cuisine), Chef Sun (Asian cuisine), and Chef Ansari (Indian thali) – all from Soneva Jani, as well as Chef Sobah (Maldivian cuisine) from Soneva Fushi and Chef Benz (Thai cuisine) from Soneva Kiri.

The price per person is dependent on the particular menu of the day, starting at USD 175++ for Soneva’s chefs and USD 350++ for a degustation menu by a visiting international chef.

Guess Who’s Cooking is only available two to three nights a week, seating just 16 diners. Dinner is from 7.30-10pm, a sunset cocktail experience is available from 6.30-7.30pm. There will also be the occasional lunch pop-up from 12.30-3pm.

Guests with dietary restrictions, food allergies, or those who prefer not to eat certain food items should let their Mr./Ms. Friday know when booking secret/no menu dining experiences well in advance. This will ensure that the chef knows what or what not to cook.

Opened in December 2016, Soneva Jani is Soneva’s newest property and the world-leading luxury hotel group’s second resort in the Maldives.

Soneva Jani is located on the island of Medhufaru within a 5.6 kilometre lagoon in the Noonu atoll, and has uninterrupted ocean views in all directions. The lagoon is 35 minutes by seaplane from Velana International Airport and one hour by speedboat from Soneva Fushi.

Meaning ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani currently comprises 24 overwater villas and one island villa, with additional villas to be built in phase two. Five islands encircle the lagoon, each one with soft white sands and covered in rich tropical vegetation. Four of the five islands will remain untouched, making Soneva Jani the lowest density development in the Maldives. The overwater villas are spaced across the expansive lagoon, offering privacy and extensive views over the Maldives’ turquoise waters. The island villas will be tucked into the lush greenery, providing the ultimate privacy, and all within steps of the beach.

Soneva Jani’s main guest facilities are located at The Gathering, the heart of the overwater villas. This dramatic three story structure is home to the main dining outlets, in addition to the Soneva Spa, library, retail area and wine cellar. It is located next to the Maldives’ first overwater Observatory.

Facilities on the island include the overwater Cinema Paradiso, the Eco Centro Waste-to-Wealth centre, organic gardens, tennis courts, water sports champa and Zuhair’s Beach on a desert island in the lagoon.

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Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort unveils revamped Vista Restaurant

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Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort has announced the reopening of Vista Restaurant after an extensive renovation. With a breath-taking view of the Maldivian blue sea and the enchanting sight of baby sharks passing by at night, Vista promises an unforgettable dining experience.

The newly launched menu celebrates the rich and diverse flavours of authentic Italian cuisine, curated to perfection by our expert chefs. Diners can now savour a wide range of traditional Italian dishes, each crafted with the finest ingredients and a touch of culinary artistry.

Highlights from the new menu:

  • Antipasti: Delight in the fresh flavours of Prosciutto Crudo e Melone, Carpaccio di Tonno con Rucola e Capperi, and the rich Antipasto di Affettati Misti.
  • Insalate & Zuppe: Enjoy our Pomodoro e Mozzarella alla Caprese, and the hearty Minestrone soup.
  • La Pasta: Indulge in our Ravioli Ricotta e Spinaci al Burro con Pinoli, Penne all’Arrabbiata, and more.
  • La Pizzeria: Relish classic pizzas like Margherita, Quattro Stagioni, and the seafood delight Frutti di Mare.
  • Secondi: Savor main courses such as Saltimbocca alla Romana, Pollo al Limone Grigliato con Verdure, and the exotic Maldive Trancio di Tonno Croccanti con Verdura.
  • Dolci: End your meal with delectable desserts like Tiramisu, Sugar-Free Basil Panna Cotta, and seasonal fruits.

“Our new menu reflects our commitment to providing guests with a true taste of Italy in the heart of the Maldives,” said Rosan Kapila, Executive Chef at Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort. “We are excited to welcome guests to enjoy the revitalised Vista Restaurant and our delicious offerings.”

Vista Restaurant at Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort, located in Gaafu Alifu Atoll, offers a perfect blend of luxury and natural beauty. With stunning overwater and beach villas, exquisite dining options, and a range of activities, the resort is an ideal destination for travellers seeking a unique and memorable Maldivian experience.

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Atmosphere Core introduces Master of Sushi to Maldives

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With Asian cuisine in such popular demand for those with a palette for the freshest of Indian Ocean seafood, Atmosphere Core announces a truly unique collaboration with internationally-renowned Japanese Chef Satoshi Tsuru. A first for the Maldives, Chef Tsuru’s inaugural visit to the archipelago will share an immersive educational journey of remarkable knifesmanship and culinary talent, upskilling the hoteliers’ chefs.

Renowned for his distinct passion for the minutest of details, Chef Tsuru will join Atmosphere Core’s Corporate Team in delivering a series of highly focused masterclasses at both the forthcoming new 5-star ‘RAAYA by Atmosphere’ and the groups’ premier flagship private island ‘OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI’.

Anupam Banerjee, Vice President Food & Beverage is the creative mind behind this special collaboration, “In preparation for launching ‘RAAYA by Atmosphere’ on the 4th of July, over the past month, a collective of our top international head chefs have been participating in ‘knowledge share’ classes, presenting training courses on new and novel culinary techniques with our growing RAAYA team.

“Taking this cross-training approach to the highest level, we extended our invitation to Chef Satoshi Tsuru for the exclusive launch his signature approach to ‘Sushi Happiness’ at RAAYA. His mission – to guide a select group of specialist island chefs in the age-old tradition of Japanese cuisine craftsmanship using local catch, vegetables and plants from Maldives and from our island. Chef Tsuru will share decades of kitchen experience deeply rooted in Japan’s historic sushi restaurants, in particular the world-famous ‘Ginza Shop’ in Tokyo established back in 1935,” added Anupam.

Innovative collaboration with such an esteemed name from world of Japanese cuisine meant it was only fitting that Atmosphere Core extended the invitation to also mark the recent launch of ‘Soyi’, a pan-Asian concept restaurant located on OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, the company’s flagship private island.

Anupam added, “On OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, Chef Tsuru will again lead inspiring masterclasses to the already highly regarded island chefs. Not only do these courses develop our in-house talent, but they also mark appreciation for the skills we already have in our F&B team. These classes are as enjoyably rewarding as they are educational, and moving forward, I am positive each participant will appreciate the talent Chef Tsuru has demonstrated in his illustrious career.”

Responding to Banerjee’s comments, Chef Satoshi Tsuru concluded, “It is an honour to be invited by Atmosphere Core and Anupam to assist in sharing some of my lessons of life as a chef. Japanese cooking is like an artform and for the best results you need to find the perfect balance of ingredients and craftsmanship. I aim to teach as much about flavour and ingredients, as I do about knifesmanship, complimented by the final presentation of each masterpiece dish.”

As an added experience, guests who book RAAYA by Atmosphere can enjoy the culinary delights of Chef Satoshi Tsuru for dates staying 4th to 6th July and at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI, guests can see and taste the chef’s craftsmanship from 10th July to 12th July.

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Intercontinental Maldives welcomes Chef Mauro Panebianco for exclusive residency

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InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort has announced a week-long residency with Mauro Panebianco, an excellent chef known for his exquisite take on Italian cuisine. Set to take place between April 27th and May 4th, guests can look forward to an incredible culinary spectacle as the chef will be preparing various dishes for 3 nights at Lighthouse, an oceanfront culinary gem renowned for its brilliant Mediterranean culinary creations and scenic views.

Passionate about food since his early years, Chef Mauro has over 3 decades of experience mastering Italian cuisine. Originally from Busto Arsizio, a city that serves as the gateway to Milan, Chef Mauro has worked with a series of renowned establishments around the world, including La Terrazza in Rome and the Giorgio Armani restaurant in Munich. He is currently the Executive Chef of Cantinetta Antinori in Moscow, where he has spent nearly 2 decades honing his skills in crafting the finest Italian dishes and pastries.

The talented chef will also help host a management cocktail event, presenting his signature canapes and offering guests a glimpse into the artistry behind his creations. Driven by his passion for culinary excellence and a desire to impart knowledge, Chef Mauro will organise a masterclass delving into the intricate techniques of preparing pasta and pesto from scratch. This enlightening masterclass will offer participants a hands-on experience and inspire them to develop their skills in creating the essential elements of Italian cuisine.

Chef Mauro believes in infusing every dish with emotion, offering guests a journey of exquisite simplicity and taste that leaves a lasting impression on their senses and memories. During the residency, he will be showcasing his culinary artistry for 3 unforgettable nights, crafting gastronomic masterpieces that embody his philosophy and embrace the timeless elegance of Italy, creating a truly exceptional dining experience.

The Lighthouse restaurant, where this incredible gastronomic journey will take place, celebrates the rich Mediterranean cuisine and sources the finest ingredients and seafood. Located at an enchanting lighthouse, the restaurant offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the property and the serene Indian Ocean. With its warm and inviting atmosphere and alfresco setting, complemented by the exquisite dishes prepared by Chef Mauro, the Lighthouse restaurant is the ideal choice for discerning diners seeking an elegant dining affair.

Tucked away in the secluded Maamunagau island, this astonishing resort offers a charming setting where guests can unwind and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this tropical archipelago. With Chef Mauro coming soon to join the resort for his residency, diners are invited to embark on a culinary voyage to the heart of Italy, where every dish reflects the passion, expertise, and artistry of this authentic cuisine.

Rates for stays in April 2024 start from USD 1058 ++ per night in an Overwater Pool Villa, including daily breakfast for two and Club Intercontinental benefits including complimentary daily afternoon tea, aperitif hour and pool refreshments. For more information, please visit www.maldives.intercontinental.com or contact reservations.icmaldives@ihg.com.

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