FORMER Hilton executive chef Wini Brugger makes his small screen debut on TVB Pearl today with his fusion cooking series, Wild Ginger. The supposedly hip, MTV-style show co-stars actress Crystal Kwok.
The eight-part series which, Brugger claims, 'is wild like me', is set firmly in Hong Kong, with scenes of markets, skylines and the neon Mao from China Max. A range of merchandise and cook book will be released as part of the marketing exercise. The 24 recipes include lettuce noodle soup with shrimp and soya, tomato risotto with saffron mullet, and green tea souffle.
Brugger, who claims he never wants to 'live luke warm', says he tries to give people guidelines to breaking the rules. 'You only fuse when the fusion is able to make it better,' he says. Brugger is hoping Wild Ginger will launch an international screen career.
Fort fires up THE Pousada de Sao Tiago has high hopes: the old fort-turned-hotel aims to join the Military Club and the Belavista as hot spots on the Macau restaurant circuit. A revamped restaurant, Os Gatos, will replace the terrace and the Cafe da Barra. The old Grill Fortaleza is being retired gracefully and its space incorporated into Os Gatos, which will feature a restaurant, bar and wine cellar.
Paul Hsu of Elite Concepts, which has been charged with the upgrade, says they are still mulling over the food. All indications are that it will not be restricted to Portuguese cuisine. The revamp will start in earnest next year. At the moment, Hsu says, 'we are concentrating on upgrading the menu'.
Joe's on a roll DEEP-FRIED soft shell crab is new star on the menu at avant-garde sushi bar Tokio Joe's. The Tokio House Roll ($110) combines the crab with avocado, cucumber, crab roe and mayonnaise in an inside-out offering that has the seaweed sheet rolled in the middle.
The new selection also includes the Dynamite Roll ($80), which uses tempura prawn instead of crab, and the Dragon's Eye Roll ($80), with salmon, scallop, cucumber and crab roe. Each is a meal in itself - if you can stay away from the expanded menu the restaurant has introduced as it settles into its stylish niche in Lan Kwai Fong.
Thanks a bunch MORE than 15,000 bananas are gathered in a California museum that aims not only to peel away any mystery surrounding the great fruit, but to make people laugh in a world gone bananas. The museum, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, displays bananas in every shape and size, from a telephone to flavoured toothpaste to a banana nose and Christmas lights. There's even banana flavoured popcorn. The museum in Altadena was started by Bananaster Ken Bannister, who said: 'I don't think it's ludicrous. I think it's entertaining.'