22/10/2021

THAILAND DAILY

NEWSPAPER / MAGAZINE / PUBLISHER

3-hong-kong-michelin-starred-chefs-on-their-christmas-meals

3 Hong Kong Michelin-Starred Chefs on Their Christmas Meals

Today, Ashley Salmon, Li Man-Lung and Maxime Gilbert are acclaimed chefs with refined palates and sophisticated tastes, but they still remember and treasure the homemade comfort food that they grew up eating. Whether it’s at home or in their fine dining kitchens, their festive family meals and menus are inspired by those memories and what they represent. We asked these three Hong Kong Michelin-starred chefs to share their Christmas traditions, favourite recipes and culinary inspirations.

Chef Ashley Salmon of Roganic Hong Kong

Hong Kong Michelin-Starred Chefs
Ashley Salmon
What do you and your family usually cook for Christmas?

If I’m not working, which happens a lot as a chef, I celebrate with my family and I try not to cook – but then I end up taking care of the star of the meal: the meat. We all love food but I wouldn’t say that we are a family with a lot of great cooks. We usually have simple food like soup, roast turkey and stuffed turkey leg with potatoes, red cabbage and vegetables. Traditional British food. In our Christmas menu at Roganic we basically took this exact concept and elevated it with the freshest products and finest techniques.

What is the dish on your menu that best represents your festive traditions?

We have a dessert at the restaurant, the chocolate fondant, that I have made many times on Christmas day and it’s inspired by my grandma’s recipe. I wouldn’t say it’s traditional in the UK but we usually eat it a lot around Christmas time in my family and I guess it’s about every person’s personal experience. It’s rich, indulgent and it represents the time that we all come together to eat even if we are very busy.

2020 has been a very difficult year for everyone, did cooking help you to cope with the challenges?

I think food is the one thing that connects everybody and brings people together. I don’t want to sound to cheesy but it genuinely is. During hard times and crises food really helps to overcome challenges. Cooking for your loved ones and sharing the dishes especially – they don’t have to be fancy. Food just connects human beings like anything else. During the pandemic I think it has been very helpful for people to do something rewarding while being stuck at home.

How are you going to celebrate Christmas this year?

I will be working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we will make sure that the staff will also have food so that we can share it together and make sure that people that are away from their families can still feel the festive atmosphere.

What can people do to avoid wasting food when cooking during the holidays?

My advice is to repurpose all the leftovers into something else so that you don’t get bored. Maybe it’s hard with no cooking experience because home cooks tend to buy way too much while in restaurants we have to learn and make sure that we don’t buy too many ingredients because we cannot afford to generate waste. I think that being creative can be a good advice – or just go on google.

Roganic, Sino Plaza, UG/F 08, 255 Gloucester Rd, Causeway Bay; +852 2817 8383

Chef Li Man-Lung of Duddell’s

Hong Kong Michelin-Starred Chefs
Li Man-Lung
What do you and your family usually cook for Christmas?

I like to spend time at home with my wife and family and we usually have steak and wine.

Can you share with us a recipe on your festive menu and the traditions behind it?

Crispy suckling duck is a traditional Cantonese dish that uses the “Pipa Duck” processing method. The ducks are marinated with our in-house blend of spices, air-dried, smoked and grilled, and finished with a pour of hot oil to imitate the traditional cooking process of a fried crispy chicken. This creates a golden-red hue, with crispy skin and succulent meat.

What is the dish on your menu that most represents your festive traditions?

Steamed chicken, minced shrimp and supreme chicken broth. In Chinese traditions, chicken is always people’s first choice during festivals and special occasions. Steam is also a very common cooking method for Chinese home cooking and it reminds me of that.

2020 has been a very difficult year for everyone, did cooking help you to cope with the challenges?

With the Covid situation, it has definitely been a very tough year for everyone. What really has helped me is trying to be creative to bring some exciting new dishes for our guests. I really hope that they enjoy spending their time at Duddell’s.

What will you do this Christmas?

I will be working at Duddell’s with my team, we have prepared a free-flow weekend brunch with Michelin-starred Cantonese specialties and festive cocktails.

What can people do to avoid wasting food when cooking during the Holidays?

Everybody has leftovers from dinners and parties. I would suggest using them to create something new. For example, the steam chicken could turn into a delicious dish, add garlic and chives and pan-fry to turn it into a nice lunch with a bowl of rice or egg fried rice.

Duddells, Level 3 Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell St, Central; +852 2525 9191

Chef Maxime Gilbert of Écriture

Hong Kong Michelin-Starred Chefs
Maxime Gilbert
What do you and your family usually cook for Christmas?

We always cook poultry, it can be poularde, goose or duck. Oyster and crepinette (a classic Christmas sausage roll in cepine from Charente region), foie gras and, of course, Christmas log.

Can you share with us a recipe on your festive menu and the traditions behind it?

The crepinette that we serve with oyster is a classic item from my region in Central France, it is basically a chipolatas sausage mixed with black truffle , then rolled in crepine (caul fat). You pan-sear it and eat with oysters, bread and butter.

What is the dish on your menu that most represents your festive traditions?

This year, at Écriture, we have decided to change it up a little bit, instead of serving the signature dishes, we have prepared the poularde, a dish which Heloise (my chef de cuisine) and Marc-Antoine (my restaurant director), and myself, actually want to have for Christmas. It will be cooked in a very traditional way with exceptional produce and in respect of the tradition with a small twist.

2020 has been a very difficult year for everyone, did cooking help you to cope with the challenges?

Yes, definitely! When you cook with your heart and soul you give the better of yourself, and, in this difficult time, my team and I, together with Marc-Antoine, have tried to give our best to our customers.

What will you do this Christmas?

I will be cooking at the restaurant. On Christmas Day, for lunch, we will be serving a whole table carved Roasted Bresse Poularde contise with black truffle, a sea food plater (with an Ècriture twist), caviar a la louche with condiment, blue lobster with Chateau Chalon sauce and white truffle, classic foie gras torchon with black truffle and Sauterne jelly, Mont blanc Christmas and many other festive delicacies.

What can people do to avoid wasting food when cooking during the Holidays?

The concept of cooking and serving a whole poularde during Christmas might sound too much for two guests – both at home and at the restaurant – and that’s why we brought in the French concept of bringing home the food and enjoy it the day after. This is something common in France, we carry on our feast the day after, both for lunch and dinner, and people can do it at home as well.

Écriture, 26/F H Queen’s, 80 Queen’s Road Central, Central; +852 2795 5996

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