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ARMCHAIR TRAVELLER:Hong Kong helps boost quarantine cookbook

A series of 34 free online masterclasses highlight the “online + offline” format of this year’s Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival, which kicked off yesterday with a host of experiences designed to deliver a “gastronomic experience not bound by time and geographical constraints,” which is to say, for travellers who may not be able to get to the city during the pandemic.

Running until Dec. 15, the Hong Kong Tourism Board-sponsored event also includes an Online Wine Cellar featuring rare varietals and special offers, and live-streamed and on-demand cooking and wine-tasting masterclasses on a one-stop online platform.

The masterclasses will be live-streamed for three consecutive Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 21 to Dec. 6 and then made available for on-demand viewings as well. They cover a wide range of topics, from wine and spirits trends to fine dining, healthy eating, and the art of food plating.

At-home chefs can livestream a variety of cook-along classes designed to help expand their quarantine cookbooks. For example, executive chef Adam Wong of Forum restaurant will instruct viewers how to make his Hong Kong-style fried rice Ah Yat Fried Rice.

And for those looking to hone their fine dining culinary skills in the kitchen, live demonstrations by celebrated Hong Kong chefs, such as Michelin-starred Shane Osborn of Arcane and Cornerstone and Vicky Cheng of VEA Restaurant & Lounge, are a great opportunity to watch and learn new tips and tricks.

Meanwhile, oenophiles and wine lovers alike can tune in to the wine talks by Hong Kong-based critic James Suckling and Master of Wine, Debra Meiburg, who will share recommendations on the themes “New Wave Bordeaux” and “The Pacific West” respectively. Suckling will introduce three bottles of affordable new wine from Bordeaux.

“Hong Kong is one of the best wine cities in the world, ranking at the same level as London and New York,” Suckling says.

Cocktail lovers can mix it up in Jay Khan’s masterclass, which will see the co-founder of Mexican bar COA in action whipping up tequila cocktails.

An all-female line-up is featured on Nov. 28. Themed “Lady’s Talk,” five influencers who are shaking up Hong Kong’s food and beverage scene will each host a masterclass to share a unique take on their own expertise. Shirley Kwok, founder of vegan bakery The Cakery, will lead a cook-along class in which viewers can make their own vegan and refined sugar-free Apple Pie; head chef Vicky Lau of TATE Dining Room will lead viewers through a live demonstration of how to make Crispy Egg with Mushroom Soup; certified sake sommelier Jamie Lo, Asia-Pacific’s youngest Master of Wine Sarah Heller; and actress-turned-winemaker Bernice Liu will take participants through their own tastings of sake, champagne and wine respectively.

“Although the HKTB’s mega events have been suspended for some time, we are drawing on our ingenuity and resources to optimize and adapt promotions against the backdrop of a pandemic,” says HKTB Chairman, Dr. YK Pang. “That’s why we have decided to resume the staging of mega events and adopted a new ‘online + offline’ format for the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2020. It is a new venture designed for the new normal in which we find ourselves. The HKTB is doing this to ensure people can join this annual event in spite of the pandemic, and to help our hard-hit businesses to promote their products and open up new business opportunities in these challenging times.”

He adds, “Our objective is to continue giving the Hong Kong economy a boost and to send out a positive message to the world that Hong Kong’s can-do spirit and love of life have not been dampened in any way by the pandemic, and that we can use our innovation to stage our signature events while we prepare to welcome visitors back to our city.”

The Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival was launched in 2009 and typically runs for four days. For more information about this year’s event and a full program of the online masterclasses, click HERE.


First published at Travel Industry Today

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