Past Clients: Art Basel HK Organising Committee & Slow Food HK
Soy sauce, an essential seasoning to Chinese dishes, was developed by Buddhists more than 2,500 years ago to complement their vegetarian diets. Dutch merchants have then brought it back to the kitchens of Sun King XIV in the late 17th century and named it “black gold”.
For this soy sauce workshop and dinner at Plantation (a creative space in Sheung Wan), we sourced different artisanal Hong Kong locally brewed soy sauce for the tasting to experience their smell, colours, taste and aftertaste. I have also invited Yuan’s (頤和園), a premium soy sauce maker and their private kitchen chefs to cook a Chinese soy sauce themed dinner Hong Kong Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce.
Guests had a lot of fun with the soy sauce spray bottles where they can spray onto fragrance strips and fan it around their nose to smell it. Also, people were spraying it into their mouths and also into their neighbours. There were a selection of white coloured food for dipping into the soy sauce samples like white mushrooms, tofu and squid. They were also complimentary to the soy sauce, so the umami soy sauce taste can be enjoyed fully.
Hand drawn soy sauce placements act as a rating board for everyone, where they can stick different stickers to rate the different types of soy sauce samples. People also wrote many notes to keep track of which one they like the best!
Afterwards, Yuan's private kitchen team did a cooking demonstration with soy sauce and served up delicious soy sauce inspired dishes like soy sauce braised pork, soy sauce fried whole prawns, soy sauce stir-fired noodles and Plantation's pastry team created the first ever(!) soy sauce caramel sauce paired with vanilla ice cream.
Experiencing the colours of Hong Kong grown vegetables through making a personal Edible Collage, then a taste through the rainbow in a colour themed dinner with a red, black, green and purple course.
It was harves time in Hong Kong, we had a beautiful selection of seasonal vegetables which included Chinese pigweed, roselle flowers, long beans, basil flowers, basil, cabbage, daikon, dragonfruit, mushroom, asparagus, rainbow chard, rosemary, okra, sesame leaves, chili pepper and sweet potatoes.
The edible college was the first course, once guests were finished with their collage, they were invited to eat their collage with homemade mayo and salad dressings. The following dinner courses were dominated by different colours, red (tomato and strawberry gazpacho), green (fried Japanese green peppers), black (scallop risotto with squid ink) and purple (Taro flavoured popsicle).
We also worked with a Sound Director to pair each course with different music complimentary to the moods of the colours. For the black course we wanted to create a solemn mood, so we told our guests to eat in silence and people ate very quickly so they could talk again after they finish!
This is a new eating ritual to welcome a new restaurant to its neighbourhood in Hong Kong. A lot of times, when people don't really remember the faces of their neighbours but they sure do remember seeing their laundry across the windows. I was inspired by this and used drying racks to "serve" the tortillas and lettuce leaves for the meal.
The meal is a do-it-yourself tortilla station, we created small surveys where guests can fill in and tell their neighbours whether they like their food drier, sauciers...etc. To encourage interaction between each guests, we invited them to fill in a 4 choice surveys on food preferences and afterwards they had to pass it their neighbour on the right side. Everyone ended up making tortillas for their neighbours according to their taste preferences. It was great seeing people going from strangers to feeding each other food and bonding at a big long dinner table.