We wanted our sweet treats to be “eye candy”
A self-taught chef, Antony Scholtmeyer has brought with him over 20 years of experience in creating not only cuisine but also dining experiences for his guests.
An Australian native, Chef Antony has worked in numerous destinations including London, Japan, China, Portugal, Singapore, and Thailand where he has developed a deep passion for local tastes. Before joining Capella Bangkok as an executive chef, he oversaw 7 food & beverage outlets at the Sukhothai Bangkok, then a Michelin starred restaurant, Element, at The Okura Prestige.
What's the biggest challenge you have in opening restaurants during this time?
Thai people have a very good palate and understand good food, so we had to make an impact. Our menus had to be truly exceptional, showcasing top-quality ingredients while also offering value for money. And of course, our chefs need to make sure they execute every dish with skill and precision, to ensure the perfect balance of flavors. When we change a menu, we do not do it for the sake of change; we need to make sure that we elevate our experiences and provide outstanding culinary journeys for every guest.
Your afternoon tea set is unique. What's the inspiration behind it?
When we created the concept we wanted to introduce something that truly stands out from the crowd – a level of service that is not normally associated with high tea. We developed a series of courses to be served individually, using premium ingredients with creative presentations to give a wow factor. We wanted our sweet treats to be “eye candy”, and perfect for Instagram. The tea service itself is worth coming for, as we are using artisanal teas, mostly from Thailand, with herbal infusions that are tailored to the guest’s preference. This really is a highly personalized afternoon tea experience.
What are the common mistakes you see chefs make when it comes to creating a menu for locals?
I always tell my team to be authentic in everything they do. If we use authentic flavors, techniques, and presentations, we will have satisfied guests. This is not only true for local guests, but also for international diners. I also tell my team to be generous; we need to satisfy our guests' appetites, so they should leave with full stomachs as well as tingling taste buds. I often get comments that our portions are too big, but it’s a nice problem to have!
Food wastage is one of the biggest problems hotels are facing, how do you manage your food wastage?
Our buffet section is only small and our breakfast is mostly à la carte, so we are able to control our waste better than many hotels. We also make a lot of items in-house, such as our sausages, bacon, butter, smoked salmon, breads, pastries, jams and preserves. We only use what we make, so there is very little left over. This also enables us to reduce the amount of plastic we use; we limit the amount of packaging that comes into the hotel and reduce how much clingfilm we use by buying containers with lids. This sounds simple, but it really helps to cut our plastic waste.
What's your favorite dish to cook at home? Would you like to divulge the recipe?
I don’t really have a favourite dish. I prefer simple things like a perfectly grilled steak with mustard, duck breast with a nice crispy skin, or fresh fish or seafood simply cooked with some kind of citrus. When I was growing up my mother made shepherd’s pie – that was my comfort food.
What's your advice for hotels that want to make a name for their Food & Beverage outlets?
Hire the right people; talent will always exceed experience. Whatever your concept may be, make sure you focus on quality. Know your guests and take care of them; reputation and recognition are very important. Offer value for money, but don’t fall into the trap of discounting to fill your restaurant. Instead, adopt meaningful marketing strategies that create a sense of mystique for your outlets.
Visit Antony Scholtmeyer at Capella Bangkok