What's cooking?

Grace Wong

Sam Chong Ping-sum

Chief sommelier, Hotel Nikko Hongkong and 'Best Sommelier for Greater China 2010'

'In the next year, I expect more Hong Kong people will participate in fine wine auctions and invest in wines. There's growing interest in buying wine futures [wine that's still in the barrel and has yet to be been blended or bottled] - they can sell them later for a profit. Hong Kong people are becoming more knowledgeable and willing to explore food and wine pairing. I also expect winemakers worldwide to pay more attention to the China market, with more Chinese elements in wine labels. Lafite has the Chinese character for 'eight' printed on its 2008 label and Mouton Rothschild hired a Chinese painter to design a label.

'For myself, in the next year I hope to experience the wine-making process and produce my own barrels. I hope the hotel can set up a wine lovers' club so I can introduce a larger variety of fine wines to my students, friends and customers.'

Todd Darling

Founding partner of Integrated Hospitality Management, which operates Italian-American restaurant Posto Pubblico and organic farm, Homegrown Foods, in the New Territories.

'In 2011, I would like to continue to increase the consumption of locally grown organic produce in Hong Kong. I hope to do this by opening more restaurants that serve food with integrity. In addition, I want to work more closely with other restaurants and hotels to increase the amount of locally grown organic food they serve, and share our knowledge with them. I also want to better my own knowledge of what's available and how to use it.

'I would like to improve and increase the selection of what's available at organic farms in Hong Kong by testing more seed varieties at our own farm, so that we can share the successes with other farmers to encourage them to broaden the variety of vegetables they grow.

'Personally, I'd like to grow more of my own food; join the [local chapter of the] Slow Food Movement and become more active in what they are involved in; source more local organic products from the south of China such as rice or soy milk made from local organic produce; I'd also like to eat more greens and fewer Kit Kats.'

Harlan Goldstein

Owner and chef of Gold by Harlan Goldstein in Lan Kwai Fong

'For 2011, I aim to use more organic foods in my dishes. I also want to lighten up the cuisine to create healthier dishes. In other words, make them tastier but with fewer calories. With the opening of Gold by Harlan Goldstein, I am hoping to enrich the variety of dishes on the menu, the goal being that even if my customers come to Gold six days a week, they won't be bored with the choice and will always find a new surprise'.

Jesus Pascual

Executive chef of Ole Spanish Restaurant & Wine Bar

'I'm very interested in Asian culinary culture and can already cook some Thai, Japanese and Chinese dishes. In the coming year, I want to travel to China - Beijing and Shanghai, in particular, and Japan, Korea and Thailand to try and learn more about their cuisines.

'At Ole I plan to introduce more seasonal creations. While the weather is still cold, I'm going to use ingredients such as oxtail, truffle and pigeon to create some warm and hearty dishes as well as the traditional lentil and chorizo casserole. When it starts to get warmer, I will use the freshest vegetables and mushrooms available to create light and refreshing dishes and salads.'

Sandeep Sekhri

Managing director of Dining Concepts Restaurants Group, which operates the Tango, Bistecca and Olive restaurants.

'In 2011, my personal culinary plan is definitely to have my meals on time, at regular hours, and to eat breakfast. I eat at very strange times and I tend to skip breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day. On average I finish work at 10pm, and don't get to sleep until 1am or 2am; and I often go to food tasting sessions between 3pm and 6pm, which spoils my appetite for dinner.

'I have two business trips planned for 2011: one is to New York in April and the second one is to Europe in the summer. I get constant culinary inspiration from these places.

'For Dining Concepts, this spring we are opening a new Italian restaurant put together by New York celebrity chef Michael White. We opened seven eateries in 2010 and there are at least three or four confirmed projects in the pipeline for 2011, including another BLT Burger and an Italian steakhouse. More meat is the way to go - even though I'm a vegetarian. There was a time I would taste meat but I stopped completely about one year ago. The biggest challenge for Dining Concepts is to make each steakhouse different from the others in the group, to make sure diners can tell them apart.'

Paul Hsu

Executive director of Elite Concepts Restaurants Group, whose Nanhai No 1 and Ye Shanghai outlets in Tsim Sha Tsui have earned a Michelin star.

'My personal and professional culinary resolutions are the same every year. I want to travel to Sicily - locations like Palermo, Siracusa and Ragusa. I want to eat more pintxos [bar snacks] in San Sebastian. I am keen on travelling the entire Sichuan province, not just Chengdu, but also to visit other sites such as Emeishan, Kangding and Jiuzhaigou.'