World Chefs: Hong Kong tastes pique palate of German cooking star

Cathy Yang | Reuters

Published — Tuesday 22 January 2013

Last update 22 January 2013 4:43 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

HONG KONG: Three-star Michelin Chef Sven Elverfeld has made his name as one of the pioneers of modern German cooking, but his first-ever visit to Hong Kong inspired him with new techniques, new implements and food he described as “amazing.”
The 44-year-old German, one of the youngest European chefs to win three Michelin stars, spent several nights in the Asian city serving up cutting-edge modern European cuisine with a regional twist inspired by his early start in Hanau, Germany.
Known for cooking based on German traditions but with modern touches and currently Chef de Cuisine at Aqua in the Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany, Elverfeld recently spoke with Reuters about what got him hooked on cooking and his views on Hong Kong dining.
Q: What inspired you to be a chef?
A: “What first inspired me was the smell of my mother cooking lunch when my brother and I returned from school. Another motivation for me was baking traditional Christmas cookies or cakes with my mother. I started at the age of 16 with a three year apprenticeship at a pastry and confectionary shop. After that I did another apprenticeship for two years as a chef.
“Each and every day in my work I endeavor to give unforgettable moments and pleasure to people. This is my definition of happiness. Indeed, I cannot imagine working at something that does not challenge me either intellectually, physically or with regard to my craftsmanship.”
Q: What are your interests in the world of cuisine — what would you like to explore that you haven’t gone into yet?
A: “I am glad I started traveling a lot around the world when I was younger. I find that each country has something to offer: unique products, different cooking techniques, flavor... I am always open minded and very curious about interesting food cultures and their products. But of course, I like to look back to my German culture in some of my dishes.
Q: How did you come up with the menu that you had prepared in Hong Kong? What inspiration went into creating the flavours?
A: “We used some of our Aqua signature dishes. The dishes I chose to use displayed my personal memories of traveling to different countries in my past. I also served on the menu a deconstructed version of a traditional northern German dish, Sole Modern Finkenwerder Style. It is important to me that my guests are going on a culinary journey around the world.”
Q: What fascinated you in your trip to Hong Kong?
A: “We visited many different traditional restaurants that featured extremely interesting Chinese cuisine. My team and I also had a beautiful dinner at the famous restaurant Amber with chef Richard Ekkebus. But I believe that this is only a small taste of what Hong Kong has to offer the world of cuisine. I hope I get the chance to return again in the future.”
Q: Which dishes did you find most interesting?
A: “It was very interesting to see and taste so many different flavors from the simple street food to the Michelin stared restaurant. There all have their own character and through this Hong Kong has a huge range. So it was the diversity that amazed me. A great sample for a Chinese dish that my team and I will remember was the amazing BBQ pork from restaurant Tin Lung Heen, which got his second star during our visit. Also an outstanding menu and wine experience was restaurant Amber with chefs Richard Ekkebus and Sidney Schutte.
Q: What new culinary ideas did you gain from his brief visit in Hong Kong, considered one of the densest locations of Michelin-starred restaurants?
A: “There are always influences exerted by personal memories. Overall, there were a lot of interesting flavor-pairings, but what impressed me most are a lot of new different techniques and equipment that the chefs are using. This gives me new ideas to think about and maybe use with my team in the kitchen at restaurant Aqua.”

To serve four
400-500 gram (roughly 1 pound) piece of topside from Muritz lamb
80 g (1/3 cup) mirepoix
10 ml(2 teaspoons) dry white wine
1/2 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 juniper berry
1 allspice berry
2 white peppercorns
Sea salt
Freshly milled white pepper
light lamb stock
Trim the meat carefully and put the trimmings in a pot with the mirepoix, white wine, garlic, spices and some water, and bring to the boil. Season the topside with salt and white pepper and brown briefly on all sides so that the pores close. Then put it into the boiling stock. Immediately reduce heat to 85 C (185 F) and cook gently until the meat slides slowly from the fork.
Cover the meat with a damp teacloth and put it in the refrigerator to cool. When it has cooled, vacuum in a vacuum bag. Just before serving, remove meat from the bag and cut into slices 5 mm thick. Then cut the slices into rectangles of 3.5 cm by 11 cm. Before serving, heat the slices in a little reduced lamb stock. Finally, glaze with a brushing of thickened lamb stock and season with some sea salt.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The College of American Pathologists (CAP) has ranked the laboratory of the National Guard’s King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh as one of the “best in the world.”Abdulaziz Al-Ajlan, head of the hospital’s pathology and laboratory sc...
JEDDAH: The General Directorate of Passports has announced that fingerprints are mandatory for Saudis to acquire or renew passports and national identity cards, a local publication reported Wednesday. The rule will apply to both male and female natio...
RIYADH: A group of doctors at the King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC) here successfully performed surgery on a Polish infant on Tuesday, following a directive of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.One-year-old Jakub, accompanied by his fath...
JEDDAH: The White House has praised the efforts of Saudi Arabia to cut off funding for the Daesh terrorist group, local media reported Wednesday.“We have seen some significant international effort to eliminate funding lines off Daesh. This effort is...
RIYADH: The World Health Organization has announced that the Kingdom has become the first Arab country and the tenth internationally to join the protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products. The announcement was made by the director genera...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Education has banned teachers, administrators, parents and students from taking videos or pictures inside schools, with only officially sanctioned documentation allowed.The ban applies to all public and private schools and kin...
RIYADH: In Riyadh, the temperature dipped to 16 degree Celsius on Wednesday noon and darkness enveloped the streets as the sky was overcast with thick clouds. Many low-lying areas and streets were flooded due to the heavy rain on Wednesday and interm...
JEDDAH: Social media is not always a waste of time, particularly for students. An English teacher at a school in Ahad Rafidah in Asir region has been using WhatsApp to communicate with his students and teach them words and pronunciation.According to...
RIYADH: The fifth edition of National Urban Heritage Forum (NUHF) will open on Monday in Qassim under the patronage of Gov. Prince Faisal bin Mishaal in the presence of Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Natio...
RIYADH: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia leads the GCC countries in terms of spending on telecom and IT services in 2014, with a total expenditure of SR112 billion, says a report released by the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC)....
RIYADH: The Saudi Control and Investigation Board (CIB) has detected violations of rules and regulations in 903 schools in the provinces and cities across the Kingdom. “The violations include hiring of non-Saudi teachers and foreigners holding admini...
JEDDAH: A high school student was killed and his younger sister seriously injured when he lost control over the car he was driving and hit an electricity pole in Qia area of Taif on Wednesday morning.The vehicle reportedly veered off as a result of a...
RIYADH: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has issued a warning that unregistered skin-lightening products are being sold on the Internet containing toxic substances that can cause serious health problems for users.These products claiming to bl...
NEW YORK: The Kingdom has drawn the world’s attention again to the racist and inhuman rhetoric against Muslim refugees.It also called on all countries and humanitarian agencies, civil society organizations and the media to abandon any racist speeches...
RIYADH: Various parts of the Kingdom, including Riyadh, Qassim, Hofuf and the Eastern Province, experienced rainfall throughout the day on Tuesday.In view of the inclement weather forecast, all schools in the Riyadh and Qassim will remain closed on W...

Events & Exhibitions

Stay Connected