Thursday December 4th 2014 saw Iniala Beach House hold a press outing to celebrate the official one year anniversary and grand re-opening of its signature restaurant Aziamendi. In commemoration of the event, 3 Michelin Star Chef Eneko Atxa was at Iniala/Aziamendi along with Chef de Cuisine Alex Burger and the Aziamendi team.
The full-day of festivities kicked-off with a welcome luncheon where guests got to experience the new Aziamendi lounge concept where they serve Thai and Basque Tapas (Pintxos), ‘Aziamendi Plates’. This was followed by a tour of Iniala including the Iniala Gallery. In the evening they organized a very special dinner at Aziamendi featuring the new seasonal menu “Inspire”.
Phuketindex.com was privileged to be able to speak to members of the Iniala and Aziamendi teams including Iniala’s visionary founder Mark Weingard.
“Iniala was started because we wanted to create the ultimate in hotels. We wanted to create a place that was focused on design, art, gastronomy and that brought an amazing level of hospitality to the world, and I think that what we have created here is very special. There are ten rooms here and what makes each of these rooms very special is that they have been designed by a different designer. The cinema room has beautiful fluffy chairs and walls made of coconut skin, whilst another room has mother of pearl on the walls, we have beds that hang from the ceiling and more. But the important thing for me was to create a space where people will walk into every room and go WOW and think that it was extraordinary and beautiful. I think in hotels today every room is the same and everything looks like someone’s home. We told our designers that we didn’t want anything to look like someone’s home; we wanted it to be a place that people could escape to.
“Turning now to Aziamendhi, this was created because we wanted to bring real creativity into a restaurant, and the most important thing was to bring real creativity into the food. When people come to Thailand they want to eat very special food, yes, Thai food is amazing, but we wanted to bring something new to the scene so we added Aziamendhi to Iniala.
“We searched all around Spain and met all the top Spanish chefs and finally decided that we wanted to work with Eneko because not only was he a two Michelin star chef at the time, he’s now three, he’s also a really warm person whose creative and loved this project so much we felt we could work on Aziamendi with him.”
“The menu that has been created for tonight is Aziamendi’s Signature Menu and this is a full experience for all our guests. Aziamendi is not just a place to sit down and eat, we really want guests to experience a unique night where you come and start in one location and move around and have a full experience with us and at the end guests will feel a sensation like no other.”
“The concept of Aziamendi’s wine list was to create a wine list which was very different from any other around Phuket. Guests to Aziamendi have the choice of many more different wines than at any other resort or hotel nearby. W have very specific wines here that you will not be able to find anywhere else. However, there obviously some fantastic famous wines that you will find at other resorts. But our wine list features a lot smaller and lesser known labels and wineries. Also, because wine is expensive here we wanted to create a wine list that reduces the margins of the wine and have wines that are more reasonably priced.”
“The Iniala Art Gallery has two collections every year, one collection for the high season and one for the low season. The current exhibition we have now is entitled Exo Endo and it focuses on the relationship between humans and earth.
“One of our featured artists comes from the Philippines but lives and works in Bangkok. The pieces she has designed are made from pieces natural materials she has collected from beaches all around the Philippines and has taken back with her to Bangkok. She transmits what she wants to say by using these natural materials as a canvass and then painting over them.
“Another of our artists is called Wasinburee who is predominantly known as a ceramist who hails from a ceramic family from Ratchaburi. However,she is a very multi-talented artist who now not only works with ceramics but also very limited edition sculptures which we have on show here at the Iniala Gallery and are also featured in the Villa Siam and our newly opened art shop. She also surprised us with some by doing some great photography which we also have on display.
“We also have another artist called Khun Maitree who we work with a lot because he’s around Iniala quite frequently. In his work he always expresses about his childhood and features a lot of animals such as lizards, buffalos and turtles and aspects of his life living in the village. He is very connected to his roots and the natural life he lived when he was young and this is his inspiration for all his work.
“Our last Thai artist is named Suswedee and she has made a collection of hearts some of which are made of metal and others of clay. These hearts are displayed in pairs s this represents the interaction of a couple and what we give to each other. The clay hearts represent the fragile one in a couple ad the metals ones the harder one.
“The final artist is called Rudi Arch and he comes from Indonesia, and he hand paints on paper, and this is another material that we wanted to show in the exhibition. The themes that he shows in his paintings are very connected with nature and we thought his work was very interesting to put together with all our other pieces.”
Tel: +66 (0) 94 005 0654
To see more images from this event, please visit: http://events.phuketindex.com/iniala-beach-house-3366.html