Chefs need to be creative, it is part of the DNA of the job. During Art Basel, chefs will unleash their inner creativity withart-driven menus and dishes that can easily be considered edible art.
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
Artist Andy Warhol is in the spotlight at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. The Clipper Lounge is celebrating some of his famous works in its Art afternoon tea. What appears to be a banana is actually strawberry mousse, a pair of red lips is in fact chocolate ganache, and the infamous soup can, is a decadent cherry black forest cake.
The artist was not chosen randomly, the hotel is hosting a world-premiere photography exhibition, Warhol in China in the lobby until April 2. The exhibition will present more than 200 photographs taken by Warhol in Hong Kong and China in 1982, including Warhol’s stay at the hotel – he was in suite 1801. This collection will be auctioned in May.
In addition to the afternoon tea, which runs until the end of March, there are themed cakes in the Cake Shop, and special cocktails at M Bar.
At The Mira, the theme is From painter’s palette to gourmand’s palate, “Life – Art – Colour”. This will be represented on the plate at Whisk with a six-course degustation menu, until Friday.
Each abstract dish on the menu has been inspired by a colour corresponding to six international culinary and art hot spots. The meal starts with a plate of Japanese zen “Green” – Ama Ebi shrimp sashimi wrapped in avocado and Avruga caviar, and is followed by a dish of octopus, watermelon and beetroot, depicting “temperamental Spanish Red”.
The lobby bar is joining in with an Art in Glass cocktail menu, with four options that have been inspired by urban art and iconic neighbourhood landmarks. Each is served with a matching nibble that also has a reference to the locale and has been designed to match the flavour profile of the cocktail.
Celebrating Art Basel, while tying in its Love Art initiatives, is The Peninsula and its restaurant, Felix, which is bringing back its popular art-inspired menu in March and April.
This year, the five-course dinner menu sees Felix chef Yoshiharu Kaji drawing inspiration from the opera. The show begins with “Carmen – Toreador Song”, lean beef carpaccio with tonka bean powder, frozen egg yolk, vegetable crudités and coulis. Inspired by the song performed by the bullfighter Escamillo in the opera Carmen, Kaji serves the beef topped with a rose petal representing the heroine.
The menu ends with “Peach Melba”, peach compote with raspberry sauce, almond mousse and vanilla ice cream, created by Georges Auguste Escoffier in 1892 as a tribute to the Australian soprano, Nellie Melba. In a twist to celebrate the sculpture by Michael Craig-Martin in show at the hotel, the dessert is topped with a yellow light bulb chip, with the raspberry sauce served in a light bulb-shaped container.
Award-winning pastry chef Janice Wong, of Cobo House by 2am:dessert bar, brings her flair to the forefront with her six-course art degustation menu until the end of March.
The avant-garde menu includes dishes, such as White in White, a savoury dish of white ingredients only. Words, a dish of duck with a cherry garlic (readable) poem . The meal ends with red, a red garden of beet sponge, rose parfait and yogurt tonic ice cream rock.
Correction: The print version mentioned Flint Grill & Bar’s art-inspired menu. However, the restaurant will be serving their regular menu this year.
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