Akuna’s Mates’ Mash-Up, Presents A Collaboration Between Chef-Mates Sam Aisbett And Chef Peter Gilmore

Akuna at the Le Méridien Saigon presents Mates’ Mash-Up, an exciting series of chef collaborations and the latest features his long-time mentor and friend, Peter Gilmore, Executive Chef at two of Australia’s most exciting and dynamic restaurants - Bennelong in the Sydney Opera House, and Quay at The Rocks, Sydney. Mates’ Mash-Up with Peter Gilmore will be a one-night-only, six-course dinner experience on 20 July 2024. 

Previous editions of Mates’ Mash-Up have featured internationally acclaimed names such as Rishi Naleendra of Cloudstreet and Sun Kim of Meta, from Singapore.  

Opened in July 2023, Akuna reflects the evolution of chef Sam Aisbett’s culinary journey, with an intentional nod to the people and produce of Vietnam. Presenting his most ‘authentic cooking’, Sam leans into his rule-breaking nature and actively decides against limiting the menus to the boundaries of a region or style. Drawing inspiration from creative possibilities found in Vietnam’s culinary landscape, expect indigenous ingredients, local herbs and spices, rare flavours and nuances from his adoptive home — many of which find their way to a fine dining menu for the very first time. 

In six months since its opening, Akuna was awarded New Opening of the Year by LaListe, the ultimate guide to the world’s best restaurants. It was also recognised among the Top 25 Restaurants by Robb Report Gourmet Collection 2023, cementing its reputation as a rising force in the local and international culinary scene. 


Sam Aisbett x Peter Gilmore — Mate’s Mash-Up

The collaboration series brings together some of Sam’s best mates and mentors from around the world, as they cook up a storm of exquisite gastronomy (and laughter) in Akuna’s open kitchen. 

“Peter is both a friend and mentor to me, and I consistently find inspiration from his ‘out of the box’ flavour and texture combinations. After many years, we'll be back in the kitchen together, and our chemistry is fantastic. Peter is a pioneer of Australia's fine dining scene, and I'm truly excited to cook alongside him again," says Sam.

Sam spent many years working at Quay in Sydney; the iconic modern Australian restaurant headed by Peter Gilmore, where he worked his way up to become their first Head Chef. Quay rose to stature winning several awards during his tenure, which includes Three Hats in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide as well as placements on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Those years cemented Sam’s deep understanding of Australian cuisine and respect for fine ingredients. On 20 July, Peter and Sam will cook together for the first time in Vietnam.

Saturday, 20th July (Dinner only)

  • Sam Aisbett (Akuna) X Peter Gilmore (Quay and Bennelong) 
  • 6-course dinner at US$349++
  • Wine-pairing at an additional US$102++

Sam Aisbett, Akuna (Ho Chi Minh city)

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Sam worked through the kitchens of famed chefs Peter Gilmore and Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney before opening Whitegrass in Singapore in 2016. At Whitegrass, he led the team to earn two consecutive MICHELIN-Star wins, as well as a place on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. He left Whitegrass at its peak in 2018 and found his way to Vietnam where he fell in love with the "beautiful chaos" of Ho Chi Minh City. Sam subsequently launched Akuna at Le Méridien Saigon, where he presents his most ‘authentic cooking’ yet. Leaning into his rule-breaking nature, Sam Aisbett does not define his cuisine by region or style. At Akuna, he serves up an experience that is ‘Sam on a plate’--- an amalgamation of his inspirations and experiences as a chef, restaurateur, traveller and produce enthusiast. 

Peter Gilmore, (Quay and Bennelong, Sydney)

Peter is Australian, born and bred in Sydney, and is among the most awarded chefs in Australia. Since 2001, he has led the internationally recognised Quay and for 22 consecutive years, Quay has been awarded Three Chefs Hats and named Restaurant of the Year six times in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. For five years, Quay was listed on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list and held the title of Best Restaurant in Australasia for three of those years. In July 2015, Peter was also instrumental in reopening Bennelong restaurant in the Sydney Opera House, and it was described by The New York Times as “the Holy Grail of Australian restaurants”, with the restaurant being awarded ‘Best New Restaurant’ at all three major Australian Restaurant Awards upon opening.


About Akuna Restaurant

Akuna, located at the Le Méridien Saigon, opened in July 2023. The fine-dining restaurant sits in full view of the Saigon River and is led by MICHELIN-Awarded chef Sam Aisbett and hospitality veteran Desiderio Bevilaqua. Bringing his rule-breaking nature to the kitchen, Sam actively decides against limiting the menus to the boundaries of a region or style at Akuna. With a nod to the people and produce of Vietnam, guests can expect indigenous ingredients, local herbs and spices, rare flavours and nuances — many of which find their way to a fine dining menu for the very first time. The dining experience is further enhanced by a wine list that features a variety of natural, organic and iconic wine bottles; and a cocktail menu of reinvented classics. Akuna’s six-course dinner tasting menu is priced at VND 3,900,000++/ US$165++. 

About Le Méridien Saigon

Situated in Ho Chi Minh City's exhilarating District 1 area, Le Méridien Saigon provides illuminating experiences within its one-of-a-kind property, which is a destination in itself. They offer a variety of F&B experiences including all-day dining restaurants, a bar and a nightclub. Their newest opening, the fine dining establishment Akuna, is all set to further cement their position as the discerning travellers' destination of choice.