What’s On at Soneva Jani

Explore our ever-evolving calendar of exceptional events, seasonal highlights and cultural celebrations, complemented by rare experiences with visiting Soneva Stars.

Rare Experiences with Soneva Stars

Indulge in Michelin-starred dining with celebrity chefs, rediscover wellness thanks to renowned specialists, learn from the world’s best athletes, enjoy exclusive live performances and more.

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From: Tue, Apr 23, 2024

Joao Santos

Joao is a renowned wellness consultant and visiting practitioner with a profound understanding of dry massage that surpasses traditional techniques. Drawing from his extensive training and experience, Joao has perfected a therapeutic performance that blends various schools and techniques he has encountered throughout his long career as a body therapist. Joao combines his intuitive holistic approach, knowledge of anatomy and physiology with unwavering commitment to enhance his clients’ physical and spiritual well-being.
Learn more about Joao Santos

Talib Hudda

Talib Hudda is an acclaimed chef and owner of the award-winning restaurant Refer in Beijing, taking 85th in the 2024 edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Refer was the first restaurant in Beijing to make it into the top 50 in 2023. Its success revolved around the connection to its seasonal menus, technical expertise and imaginative plating. Later this year, his new restaurant will launch in autumn: going deeper into his connection with food. Talib’s cuisine reflects his bold philosophy: to draw inspiration from everything in the natural world or urban life, breaking the boundaries between geographical regions and culinary styles to create a unique, immersive dining experience. The restaurant’s avant-garde concept revolutionised the way chefs communicate with diners, allowing them to appreciate the stories behind each dish and leave with awe and lasting impressions.
Learn more about Talib Hudda

Eric Räty

A rising star in fine dining, Finnish chef Eric Räty is renowned for his refined simplicity, purity of craft and vibrant innovation that seamlessly blends Nordic and Asian cooking techniques and flavours. His culinary journey began in 2005 at Perho Culinary School in Helsinki where he spent his evenings as a kitchen helper at two Michelin-starred Chez Dominique. After graduation, Eric joined as a full-time commis chef, and in 2010, joined three-Michelin-starred restaurant Aqua at Ritz Carlton, Wolfsburg, as a pastry chef. After two and half years at Aqua, he returned to Chez Dominique as the restaurant’s head chef before moving to Hong Kong in 2014, where he was inspired to incorporate Asian ingredients and flavours into his menus. Now, as chef-owner of Arbor in Hong Kong, Eric brings his tasteful creativity to the city’s fine dining scene, earning his first Michelin star in 2018 and his second star in 2019. Eric’s menu is inspired by nature and a fundamental respect for the changing seasons. Every dish reflects the woods, the forest and the trees through flavour, fragrance, preparation technique or creative presentation. Combining refined Nordic and Japanese sensibilities and a blend of seasonal ingredients, his cuisine is creatively light but developed with sharp, bright flavours that come from rare, exotic ingredients to nourish and excite the palate.
Learn more about Eric Räty

Mark Lundgaard

The chef and director at Kong Hans Kælder Restaurant, located in the oldest building in Copenhagen. In Mark’s universe, food is not a gift sent down from heaven. In order to understand the taste and composition of a dish, it is essential to respect its origin and understand the craftsmanship in its preparation. With a distinctive mix of classic French cuisine and a new Nordic kitchen, Mark creates dishes that define palatability at its best.
Learn more about Mark Lundgaard

Dietmar Sawyere 

Swiss-born chef Dietmar Sawyere comes from a family of restaurateurs and has been involved in running restaurants since the age of 14. Having since worked at some of the world’s most exclusive hotels and restaurants, Dietmar has honed his skills in incorporating local flavours and ingredients into his menus. His innovation and expertise have been internationally-recognised, garnering numerous awards, and he is one of only five European chefs worldwide to have earned a Michelin Star for a Japanese restaurant. In recent years, Dietmar’s focus has shifted to consultancy and management. In 2023, he and his wife Nicole took over the historic 500-year-old inn Gasthaus zum Kreuz in Dallenwil, Switzerland. Here, they created two unique concepts, Stübli and Bijou, both of which hold one Michelin Star each. Stübli offers a modern interpretation of Swiss cuisine, while Bijou seamlessly combines Swiss and Asian flavours and hospitality.
Learn more about Dietmar Sawyere 

Igor Oleynik

Igor Oleynik is ranked among the top 16 football freestylers in the world and is a four-time Russian national champion. He started playing football when he was six years old and switched to freestyling at 16. He went on to successfully participate in numerous international tournaments, including the prestigious Red Bull Street Style events. During his professional career, he has been a brand ambassador for Nike and Adidas and collaborated with Volkswagen and FC Lokomotiv. In 2018-2019 he played for Amkal, one of the most popular media football teams in Russia and also one of the biggest YouTube projects. In addition, he is the founder of iFreestyle, the largest freestyle and street football school in the world which united around 250 children. A talented coach, Igor never stops learning and polishing his skills. Passionate about inspiring others, he never sets limits for himself, constantly inventing new tricks.
Learn more about Igor Oleynik

Karan Gokani

Karan grew up in Mumbai and moved to England in 2005 to study law at the University of Cambridge. Even as a practicing solicitor, Karan’s passion for food and hospitality never faded and he spent time in professional kitchens in his spare time. In 2012, he left his legal career at a city law firm to pursue a career in hospitality, traveling across India and Sri Lanka to immerse himself in the food and culture of the countries. His restaurant Hoppers was founded in October 2015. The first Hoppers in Soho was inspired by the toddy-shops, home cooking and roadside stalls of Sri Lanka and South India, and served its namesake Hoppers alongside Dosas, Kothu, Short Eats, Rice and Roasts. The acclaim soon followed with reviews from London Evening Standard’s Fay Maschler and the late Sunday Times critic A.A. Gill who applauded Hoppers for its ‘seductive, come-hither menu’ and ‘spectacular, impressive, authentic, confident and swaggering kitchen.’ Over the years Karan has written travel features and recipes on Sri Lanka and southern India for major national and international publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller, The ES Magazine, Bloomberg, The Financial Times; and appeared on Sunday Brunch, Great British Chefs, Sorted Food’s YouTube channel and various food festivals across the UK.
Learn more about Karan Gokani

Dr James Gilbert

Dr James Gilbert is a space engineer, astrophysicist and inventor. He is known for his work on multiple new technologies for some of the world’s most complex scientific machines, including planet-finding telescopes on Earth and wildfire-fighting cameras in space. He is currently leading the development of mission-critical electronics at Rocket Lab in New Zealand. Originally from the UK, Dr James emigrated to Australia in 2009 and – almost by accident – found the fascinating world of scientific instrumentation. Since then, his career has spanned multiple technical disciplines including optics, photonics, electronics and robotics. A passionate advocate of ‘blue sky’ research, Dr James has also led programs that take cutting-edge technologies out of the lab and apply them elsewhere to improve life on Earth. As a result, he is now an accomplished leader in academia and industry and loves to share stories that connect uncompromising technological achievements with the human condition. Dr James has a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Oxford and has authored over 50 peer-reviewed astronomy and space technology publications. He was recently named Engineer of the Year 2023 and Researcher of the Year 2022 at the Australian Space Awards. He is a trusted authority on space technology with multiple interviews on Australian national media, and his TV documentary appearances have been broadcast worldwide on networks including ABC, BBC and Discovery Channel.
Learn more about Dr James Gilbert

Jane Alty

Over ten years in the UK, Jane Alty has opened minds and tickled tastebuds, becoming a key ingredient of the Asian food revolution. By focusing on genuine Thai ingredients, Jane has brought Thai cuisine to a curious and increasingly dedicated public. Jane’s connection with Thailand runs deep. As a classically trained chef, she was first captivated by the deeply complex flavours and cooking processes of this wonderful country when she stayed with family outside Bangkok and became infatuated with the country’s cuisine. After four years at world-renowned Nahm, working under the internationally acclaimed chef David Thompson, she opened The Begging Bowl, in the heart of Southeast London. Alongside incredible Thai ingredients, Jane also uses seasonal produce from the UK, using it delicately where it makes sense with Thai food. It’s now a magnet for foodies, and Jane features in the top 100 influential women in hospitality – all achieved against the backdrop of managing as a single parent and leading the charge for women in hospitality. In 2022 Jane took her years of experience to JKS. Here, she is nurturing the next generation of chefs and overseeing all their ambitious Chaiyo restaurants.
Learn more about Jane Alty

Bob Bryan

Bob Bryan is one of the world’s most successful doubles tennis players. Playing with his twin brother Mike, the Bryans won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles, 39 Masters 1000 titles, and 119 ATP Tour titles. Bob also won seven Grand Slam titles in mixed doubles, is a Davis Cup champion, and was the number one ranked doubles player in the world for 439 weeks. The Bryans were the top doubles team on the ATP Tour for 10 seasons and, in 2012, they clinched the career Golden Slam, winning all four Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal during a 12-month run. Bob now lives in Miami with his wife Michelle and their three children and is the captain of the United States Davis Cup Team.
Learn more about Bob Bryan

Judy Joo & Esther Choi

Chefs Judy Joo and Esther Choi will conduct a spectacular four-hands dinner at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. Their dishes will showcase their amazing talent and rich Korean heritage. Chef Judy Joo In 2003, following an engineering degree at Columbia University and a career on Wall Street, Judy Joo decided it was time for a change. Realising that her passion was in cooking, she enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York, and received her Grand Diplome in Pastry Arts before becoming a test kitchen and editorial assistant at SAVEUR magazine. Excited about the thriving UK food scene, Judy moved to London in 2007, and joined Restaurant Gordon Ramsay as a pastry chef. For the following few years, she also worked throughout other Gordon Ramsay restaurants including Maze, under Jason Atherton, Claridge’s, Pétrus, and Boxwood Café as a chef and pastry chef. Judy also staged around the world at restaurants including 3 Michelin-starred The French Laundry in Yountville, California; Heston Blumenthal’s 3 Michelin-starred The Fat Duck in Bray; as well as Bangkok’s 1 Michelin-starred Nahm restaurant. In 2011, Judy became a regular face on TV, starring in Iron Chef UK and securing herself the title ‘Iron Chef UK’, becoming the only female Iron Chef in the UK and the second female Iron Chef worldwide. Off the back of her success in the UK show, Judy became a resident judge on Iron Chef America. Her expertise in Korean cooking led to her own shows: Judy Joo’s Return to Korea and two seasons of Korean Food Made Simple. Since then she published her debut cookbook, Korean Food Made Simple and has made regular appearances on numerous programs in the USA including The Today Show, Wendy Williams, The Talk, and various Food Network shows, and in the UK she has popped up on Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch,  James Martin’s Saturday Morning and ITV’s Cooking with the Stars. Having settled in the UK, London was the obvious choice for Judy’s first restaurant as Chef Patron, and she opened the doors to her modern Korean restaurant Jinjuu – meaning ‘pearl’ – in 2014. Judy’s cooking is focused on the flavours of her childhood – raised in a Korean-American family in New Jersey, her back porch was lined with her mother’s clay pots, filled with fermenting kimchi, gochujang and doenjang. The house’s garage had racks of drying seaweed, and a Korean barbecue grill tucked in the corner. Judy and her sister were often drafted in to help fold row upon row of dumplings. Her multicultural heritage and training is evident in her dishes today: from ‘disco fries’ influenced by New Jersey highway diners, and topped with spicy cabbage kimchi, to classic French pastries that incorporate traditional Korean ingredients. In 2019, Judy left Jinjuu after five years in order to start a new chapter, which included the launch of her new cookbook, Korean Soul Food in October 2019, and has since launched her latest restaurant, Seoul Bird, in Westfield and Canary Wharf specialising in the Korean fried chicken for which Judy is known. Chef Esther Choi Chef Esther Choi, owner and founder of New York City’s mŏkbar and partner of Ms. Yoo, is an influential female chef driven by her Korean roots. With a personal passion for introducing New Yorkers to the flavors of Korean culture, Chef Esther’s cooking combines traditional and modern influences with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Inspired by the old-aged techniques of her Korean grandmother’s cooking, Chef Esther believes that food is the ultimate expression of a country’s culture. From its history and social customs to its language, geography, and arts, Chef Esther seeks to offer guests an understanding and appreciation of Korean foods. Chef Esther received formal training at New York’s institute of culinary education and has worked across the kitchens of ilili, La Esquina, and the Food Network. Esther has received numerous awards for her culinary pursuits and was named “New York City’s Culinary Rock star” in Zagat’s 30 under 30.
Learn more about Judy Joo & Esther Choi

Sascha Stemberg

Sascha Stemberg has been running his restaurant, Haus Stemberg Anno 1864, in Velbert, Germany, since 2015. He first started working there as a Sous Chef in 2005 and, together with his mother and father, he planned his culinary dream. The restaurant has been family run since 1864, making Sascha and his wife the fifth generation to inherit it. Each dish is always full of flavour, using only the best ingredients, which are often local. They have their own bees, and work with many of the farmers in the area. In 2013, the restaurant achieved its first Michelin Star.
Learn more about Sascha Stemberg
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