If you have been keeping up with us, you might already know that Australian award-winning winery Wolf Blass conducted a regional wide search earlier this year for talents to showcase their passion and skills to Premier League Champions, Manchester City.
Wolf Blass handpicked three passionate individuals to go on this trip of a lifetime – Chef Phattanant Thongthong (aka Chef May) from Thailand, and Malaysian graffiti artist Kenji Chai, and Chef Carrie Scully. All three talents brought the flavors of Southeast Asia with them to Manchester, UK.
From our Instagram Stories, you might have seen that their journey to showcase their talent started in London. The three winners were present at the iconic Wembley Stadium to witness Manchester City make history as they scored an astounding 6-0 victory over Watford, winning the FA cup final. What a great way to check off their first live football game!
That’s not all as May, Kenji and Carrie headed to Manchester after, where they were given an exclusive tour of the Etihad Stadium, learning about the club’s history and everything it took for first team players to get to where they are today. Touring the immaculate locker rooms, state-of-the-art facilities and the Manchester’s Youth Academy, they had a better understanding of the tough and often grueling journey players had to go through in the pursuit of their passion.
Following that, it was time for them to take on the role of mentor to Man City players Fernandinho, Claudio Bravo, and Fabian Delph. Our three talented winners demonstrated their craft, and the players got to cook signature dishes and learn how to do some graffiti art.
Fresh off their trip, we check in with our talented winners to see how they felt as they reflect on how far their zest and passion has taken them.
It’s gonna be May
Chef May’s got quite a list of things lined up after her encounter with the Premier League Champions, being thoroughly inspired by the players and her journey with Wolf Blass. The chef-turned-restaurateur revealed she is currently in the midst of expanding her business and have been traveling within Thailand to oversee her upcoming restaurant projects. We don’t know about you, but we are really looking forward to seeing more of Chef May’s signature – authentic Thai cooking with a contemporary twist, all throughout Thailand.
Inspired by her meeting with the Premier League stars, Chef May is also looking to take on a new challenge by stepping into the territory of wine pairings. She has selected a few favorites from Wolf Blass Gold Label range – the Shiraz from Barossa and Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra which she thinks would make the perfect accompaniment to her dishes.
With her brewing passion, there’s no doubt that Chef May is well on track to achieve her goals of becoming Thailand’s next leading chef.
Kenji’s inspired by young hopefuls
When asked about his biggest takeaway from his trip with Wolf Blass, Kenji shared what stuck with him the most – the youth team’s sheer willpower in working their way up to make the prestigious first team. On their exclusive tour through Manchester City’s home stadium, our talents learned of the painstaking journey the youths in the Academy have to go through in order to obtain a contract with City’s first team.
In fact, chances of football hopefuls going pro are reportedly really slim, we’re talking about a 0.012% success rate. What impressed Kenji the most is the level of fearless determination and perseverance displayed to make their passion a reality, a common trait that Kenji shares with them. Kenji found the resilience of these youths to be particularly interesting, and cited this journey as inspiration for his future work.
I guess we’ll just have to wait to see what Kenji comes up with on the back of this passion-driven trip with Wolf Blass!
Carrie on how she’ll carrie on from here
Despite being in a totally new environment on her trip to Manchester, Chef Carrie hardly felt out of place. From quitting the corporate life to chasing a personal passion for cooking, Chef Carrie can now cross ‘teaching football players to cook’ off her bucket list.
This journey with Wolf Blass has inspired Chef Carrie to pursue other avenues in the cooking industry such as teaching workshops within her restaurant in the near future.
In the meantime, the first thing on Carrie’s to-do list is to host a massive family cookout back in Penang. On the menu? Carrie’s Dad homestyle chili crab and grilled caramelized pineapples served alongside her new favorite — the Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay.