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PR NEWS (ข่าวประชาสัมพันธ์) » THAILAND (ประเทศไทย) » WINE & DINE (อาหารและเครื่องดื่ม)
Tasting Room Sensations
By : KP   |   Posted : October 26, 2018
Tasting Room Sensations
If you’re in Hong Kong during October you’re in for a culinary surprise. Taking place at Victoria Harbourfront between 25 and 28 October, the annual CCB (Asia) Wine & Dine Festival is a veritable smorgasbord of food and drink experiences. One of the highlights is the exclusive Tasting Room, whereby renowned chefs from across the region are invited to cook special, one-off menus. In preparation for the festival, three of this year’s Tasting Room talents, Thailand’s Bee Satongun, Taiwan’s Lin Cheng-ching and Singapore-based Chen Kentaro visited Hong Kong for three steamy days in August to sample the city’s gourmet highlights. We chatted with them about the experience and their plans for the festival. Bee Satongun, Paste Bangkok Thai RestaurantBee Satongun, the Thai/Lao chef and co-owner of Paste Bangkok Thai Restaurant has won numerous accolades – including a Michelin star and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018, Best Female Chef – as well as a loyal foodie following for her respectful reworkings of aristocratic Thai heritage recipes. She will open Paste Lao Food in Luang Prabang at the end of the year. How would you summarise the key principles of Thai food?Thai food is about fresh ingredients and balance. It’s about understanding each herb and seasoning; the importance of rounded flavours What have been the highlights of your trip to Hong Kong?It was great to meet with local chefs and learn more about the ingredients used in Chinese cooking – there are lots of pickles and stocks. Stocks are the soul of Asian cooking because they introduce more flavour without having to use more ingredients that can over-complicate the dish. Along with pickles and fermentation, stocks are my great passion and it was good to learn more. We visited Chai Wan wet market with local food guru Walter Kei and tried BBQ pork and stir-fries from stalls there, along with several restaurants – I always want to taste every dish!What have you noticed about the Hong Kong food scene? People here love eating! Hong Kong people are big supporters of Paste and we have diners in the restaurant who fly into Bangkok just to eat. I love Chinese food and if you go back years and years Thai food is influenced by Chinese cuisine. There seem to be so many good quality restaurants in Hong Kong, the seafood tastes so good and there’s a respect for ingredients. Can you tell us about the dish you’ll be cooking in the Tasting Room?I am going to cook lon hake fillet with white turmeric and lemongrass. Lon is an array of Thai relishes infused in coconut milk; the series of herbs has delicious umami flavour. Lon relishes sit between curry and soup in the Thai food repertoire, they are elegant and delicate. The dish I am making originates from a King Rama V (1868-1910) cookbook – I combined two recipes together to create my own and chose whole fish as you can get very fresh, live fish in Hong Kong.Which wines do you recommend with Thai food?Aromatic wines such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer from Germany and the Alsace region of France go well with Thai food. If red, then a pinot noir, Jason (Bee’s husband and co-owner of Paste) always opens a pinot noir as it goes so well with Thai food. Where’s on your restaurant hit list for your next visit to Hong Kong? I’d love to go to Bo Innovation. I’ve heard so much about the chef and wish we were here for longer so we could try the food – so we’ll have to go next time!––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––Lin Cheng-ching, The Guest House restaurant at Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel A recipient of two Michelin stars in the inaugural Michelin Guide Taipei 2018, The Guest House serves Sichuan and Yang Zhou cuisines with a Taiwanese twist. Executive Chef-Chinese Lin Cheng-ching began his culinary career as a teenager 37 years ago and has since encountered many different Chinese cuisines. How does Hong Kong’s culinary scene compare to Taipei?Hong Kong has more diverse and better quality ingredients – such as mushrooms, jellyfish and Sichuan pepper – and seeking new ingredients is one of my missions on this trip. As it’s such a cosmopolitan city, people living here have a higher spending power. At the same time, it’s a very dynamic and competitive dining landscape, so it’s not easy for restaurants to survive. Chefs need to think out of the box.Where have you enjoyed eating when in Hong Kong?I love taking a stroll around old districts like Sham Shui Po, and observing what everyday people eat. There is no better way to genuinely understand a culture than through its food and I enjoyed both local street food and gourmet dishes in Michelin-starred restaurants. We went to a contemporary Chinese fine-dining restaurant in Central called Mott 32, where the scrumptious boiled fish with pickled cabbage and chilli impressed me, along with the crispy air dried Angus Beef – the beef cooks up thin like paper and is so crispy – simply amazing. I found most Hong Kong chefs to be very creative in the kitchen. As the old saying goes, ‘Not to advance is to drop back.’ I think it is very true to the culinary career, so I wish to share the spirit with my colleagues after my return to Taipei.What are you hoping to gain from the Festival? I’m looking forward to learning from other cuisines and broaden my horizons. Yet I’m also a bit nervous since this is my first time to cook at the site. One of the purposes of this [August] trip was to visit the site in advance to reassure myself. Our team even had a rehearsal to ensure all goes well at the event.Time to whet our appetite! Can you tell us about the dish you’re cooking in the Tasting Room?I’m going to cook Braised Pork Knuckle Rock Sugar served with steamed bun, which is exclusive from The Guest House. The initial inspiration comes from the traditional Hangzhou dongpo pork (braised pork belly), but I will make a little twist by substituting the belly part with the back knuckle meat – I find that most customers love the texture of the red pork belly, but not the fat. The back leg of the pig is usually the source of cured hams, so it’s uncommon to cook in this way. Another highlight is that we will make a side dish of cold yu lai gu (post-rain mushroom). This mushroom is one of the specialities in Pingtung County (southern Taiwan) and is high in plant protein, amino acids and vitamins, so it’s very beneficial. I also want to take this opportunity to introduce different tasty Taiwanese foods to Hong Kong people.–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––Chen Kentaro, Shisen Hanten in SingaporeGrandson of Japan’s ‘Father of Sichuan Food’ and son of the famous Iron Chef Chen Kenichi, Chen Kentaro’s has certainly lived up to the family pedigree, helming two Michelin-starred Shisen Hanten. The author of several Sichuan recipe books first sharpened his skills at a friend’s restaurant in Sichuan, and later in Chengdu learning to speak Mandarin along the way. What do you think makes Sichuan cuisine unique?When describing Sichuan food, we like to say, “each dish has its own style; a hundred dishes have a hundred different flavours.” The heart of the Sichuan food lies the artful mixing of flavours – if we grill the same ingredient in different ways, it will have completely different flavours. Compared with other Chinese cuisines, heat control plays an important role in Sichuan food. What qualities are required to become a great chef?Cooking is a mixture of science and art – there are techniques and skills to be learnt,but having faith and taking risks are equally as important. When he first arrived in Japan my grandfather couldn’t speak Japanese so used single words to communicate in the kitchen. He taught me to cook with my whole heart, as if for loved ones, regardless of problems like language. When food is prepared with love, the people who eat it can definitely feel [the love]. Of course, it is always easier said than done.How does the food culture Singapore compare to Hong Kong?Singapore is a multiracial society and so is their food culture – Singaporeans know how to mix different cuisines together well. I noticed that Malaysian and Indian cuisines influence the flavour of Cantonese dishes in Singapore, while in Hong Kong, Cantonese cuisine has preserved its authenticity.What foods have you enjoyed eating during your visit to Hong Kong?Every time when I come to Hong Kong, I make a brand new discovery in this diverse city, it truly deserves its name of ‘gourmet paradise’. My favourites so far are seasonal steamed fish in Sai Kung, crab roe noodles in unpretentious Tin Heung Lau, and local eats in the old-fashioned restaurants of Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po. This visit, I tried local snacks such as put chai ko (sticky rice pudding), which I’ve never encountered before. I also learnt to make my first har gow (shrimp dumplings) in the original Sham Shui Po branch of Tim Ho Wan and silky tofu pudding made by Kung Wo Beancurd Factory. It was delicious – most tofu puddings are savoury, so I was surprised as this one tasted so sweet! How has this trip to Hong Kong influenced your cooking?The most unforgettable experience of this trip was learning how to make authentic Hong Kong-style milk tea with the owner of My Cup Of Tea in Wan Chai. I wasn’t aware of the level of detail involved in crafting the perfect cup of milk tea, especially when it comes to tea leaves! I am practicing the secrets and techniques I learnt, as I want to infuse milk tea with my new desserts for my restaurant. Can you tell us about the dish you will be preparing for Tasting Room?I‘m planning to slow-cook premium Australian rib eye beef so as to maximise its umami flavour. I am sure it will be a very different and surprising beef dish. What is the best wine to pair with Sichuan food?Considering Sichuan food is spicy in nature, I would recommend pairing with strong and aromatic red wines or a sweet Riesling; the notes of more delicate varietals get overpowered.
HK, Wine, Dine, Chef Bee, Hong Kong
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