The BBC asks: Got a million Thai baht handy? (That’s about 29 grand, for those of you not plugged into the current exchange rate.) Care for some fancy eats? Book your table for an 11-course dinner in Bangkok, served by six three-star Michelin chefs.
The event, modestly titled “Epicurean Masters of the World,” is purportedly designed to showcase Thailand as an upmarket tourism destination and investment target. But the menu is rightfully catching some flak for its almost entirely European flavor:
Creme brulée of foie gras with Tonga beans
1990 Louis Roederer Cristal
Tartare of Kobe beef with Imperial Beluga caviar and Belons oyster
1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil
Mousseline of pattes rouges crayfish with morel mushroom infusion
2000 Corton-Charlemagne, Jean François Coche-Dury
Tarte Fine with scallops and black truffle
1996 Le Montrachet, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
And so on, and so on. Now, there’s no doubt that the meal will be delicious, and that the expense will be relatively minor for the kind of brain-damaged plutocrat who might actually consider signing up for this kind of thing. But before you buy your tickets for Bangkok, take a moment to ponder the following proposition: what else could you do with $29,000?
1. Take 70 close friends and relatives out for sushi at Masa in New York.
2. Grant 14 business-starting micro-loans to farmers and entrepreneurs in India’s Virdarbha region.
3. Rent out a grocery store, bring over 100 of your friends, and just throw produce at one another until the cows come home.
4. Hire your own three-star chef to prepare exactly the same meal for you for five days in a row.
“Epicurean Masters of the World”? More like “Marketing Masters of the World.”