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Foodies' paradise: taste festival 2017 showcases world-class cuisine to Hong Kong diners
Inspired by last year’s success, Taste of Hong kong is coming back to the city, with more than 20 top chefs from world-class restaurants taking part.
Hong Kong gourmands are in for a treat this month as Taste of Hong Kong returns to the Central harbourfront from March 16 to 19. The four-day culinary festival, presented by Standard Chartered, is billed as “Asia’s premium restaurant festival” by its organisers, IMG.
“Taste is the most serious, indulgent and exciting food festival, bar none – across the world,” says Simon Wilson, head of IMG Culinary Asia.
The festival, first launched in 2004 in London, has now expanded to 19 world-class destinations, including Paris, London, Dubai, Amsterdam and Sydney. Hong Kong marks the restaurant’s first foray into the Asian market.
Last year marked the inaugural event of Taste of Hong Kong, attracting about 15,000 visitors. Inspired by last year’s success and feedback, this year’s festival will be 25 per cent bigger, with more than 20 chefs participating, plus mixologists and artisanal producers.
“Feedback on last year’s festival was extremely positive and the enthusiasm of Hong Kong diners to attend and restaurants to participate solidified Taste of Hong Kong as an annual event,” Wilson says. “We are excited to be collaborating with some of Hong Kong’s top tables once again and to be showcasing world class cuisine to Hong Kong diners.”
More than 50 signature dishes in tasting portions, plus one-off creations exclusive to Taste of Hong Kong, will be presented by some of the city’s top restaurants. Those taking part include Amber, Arcane, Café Gray Deluxe, CHINO, Duddell’s, Kaum at Potato Head, Mercato, Okra, Rhoda, Serge et le Phoque, Tin Lung Heen, Tosca, Yardbird and ZUMA. These restaurants, boasting more than 10 Michelin stars between them, will also feature, as part of their offerings, dishes incorporating ingredients such as uni, truffle, lobster, wagyu and caviar.
Joining this year’s festival – and sponsored by Taste the World and Etihad Airways – is acclaimed Japanese chef Kobayashi from two Michelin-starred Kei Restaurant in Paris. Kobayashi is regarded by many as the protégé of renowned chef Alain Ducasse, and his dish is set to be the talk of the town. He will present his sumptuous gnocchi with black truffle and Iberico ham dish – which proved to be such a big crowd-pleaser at the last Taste of Paris festival.
Kobayashi is no stranger to Taste festivals. He already has two Taste of Paris festivals under his belt and is preparing to participate in the 2017 edition later in May.
“I am excited to enjoy the ambience of the festival in Hong Kong, to meet local chefs, to exchange ideas with them and to meet Hong Kong diners,” Kobayashi says.
Another international participant is chef Nick Kim of Shuko, a sushi restaurant in New York. Kim – one half of a dynamic duo that put the restaurant on the culinary world map – will demonstrate his skill at the Porsche Taste Theatre in association with Food Network. Shuko was most recently named on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list as one of the six best new restaurants in the United States.
Other highlights of the festival include Taste Theatre, which has live cooking demonstrations, Champagne tastings and Gourmet Market.
Taste Theatre, hosted by Debbie Wong of the Food Network, will present 24 live cooking demonstrations by chefs from popular local restaurants. Festival-goers can look forward to learning tips and tricks from chefs Richard Ekkebus of Amber, Shane Osborn of Arcane, Aaron Gillespie of 22 Ships, Lee Man Sing of Mott 32 and more.
The Gourmet Market boasts a line-up of more than 60 producers and an even wider variety of products, from cold pressed juices and ice cream to cheese and wine. A stop by the market is a must for those who wish to learn more about Hong Kong’s culinary scene.
And as no meal can be considered complete without a refreshing drink in hand, oenophiles will be delighted to learn that Laurent-Perrier will return to Taste of Hong Kong. This year, the Laurent-Perrier Champagne Bar will, for the first time in Asia, present its fine La Cuvée to complement the gourmet experience. Caffeine-lovers, meanwhile, can join coffee master classes presented by illy, the festival’s coffee partner.
With so many options on offer, gourmet enthusiasts will find themselves spoilt for choice.
“Food is the way to every Hongkonger’s heart. The appetite [for] and knowledge of fine food is ever growing and the restaurant scene is dynamic and ever changing,” Wilson says.
“Located in the heart of Asia, we want to be able to give everyone who lives and travels here access to world-class cuisine in a fun festival vibe.”
Ticket prices start from HK$138 for weekday tickets and HK$169 for weekend tickets through Ticketflap. South China Morning Post readers can enjoy a 26 per cent discount from the non-Standard Chartered credit card holder price by using the promotional code “scmp2017” for general admission tickets.
Discounted tickets are priced at HK$124.20 for weekday tickets and HK$151.20 for weekend tickets, excluding booking fees. To purchase tickets, visit www.ticketflap.com/tastehongkong2017.
Standard Chartered cardholders receive extra discounts and benefits.
For more information about the festival, visit hongkong.tastefestivals.com