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.”


MURITZ LAMB
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

RIYADH: Some good news for less fortunate women in society. According to a survey, 77. 3 percent of young men are willing to marry divorced women, 67. 2 percent are ready to tie the knot with widows, while 74. 6 percent of them have no problem marryi...
RIYADH: Iranian Haj and Umrah pilgrims are welcome to enter the Kingdom and would receive all hospitality and courtesy afforded to Muslims from other countries, said Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir here Thursday.He reiterated that the Kingdom’s decis...
RIYADH: A 78-year-old Saudi man has been infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) by a camel in Taif, according to a senior official in the Ministry of Health.“This is a sporadic case that happens due to humans' interacti...
RIYADH: A medical team at a hospital in Sakaka successfully conducted the first laparoscopic procedure of its kind in the region by using this modern technique.The medical team, headed by Dr. Sami Al-Asari at the King Abdul Aziz Specialist Hospital,...
DAMMAM: A study by the National Family Safety Program with 18,000 teenagers has revealed that 13 percent have been sexually abused, 53 percent neglected, and 80 percent faced various forms of physical and psychological abuse.The study also showed the...
AL-AHSA: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to revamp, protect and document 900 ancient mosques in the Kingdom.Representatives from the SCTNH and the ministry he...
JEDDAH: Military items including uniforms, fabrics, belts and hats accounted for 19 percent of customs seizures during 2013 and 2014, with about 8,620 pieces seized in 98 operations at various border crossings.The spokesman for Saudi Customs, Issa Al...
RIYADH: Dr. Hazzaa Al-Zahrani, director of hematology and fellowship training programs at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, has warned against the increasing risk of hemophilia in the Gulf region.He said about 75 percent...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has asked its various departments to review current inventories to ensure the availability of medicine and medical devices.The move was made after Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih ordered the reduction of medicines and m...
JEDDAH: A local charity has raised SR2 million to help pay for treatment needed by disadvantaged people in the country.The Charitable Health Society For Patient Care (Enayah), which ran its fund raising campaign under the slogan “Ensure my Treatment,...
JEDDAH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), has announced plans to develop the Kingdom’s islands in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf into tourist destinations.This would be done after the...
RIYADH: Sri Lankan Ambassador Azim Thassim told his countrymen in the Kingdom that his mission has chalked out a 20/20 plan to promote bilateral relations with the Kingdom and to work for the welfare of the island’s 500,000 workers in Saudi Arabia.Th...
JEDDAH: The Special Criminal Court has sentenced a Saudi man to four years in prison for defying the country’s ruler and traveling to fight in Syria.The court found he had received weapons training and posted tweets about his experiences. He was also...
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is ready to join any ground operation against Daesh in Syria if required by the US-led coalition, said Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, on Thursday.“The Kingdom is ready to participate i...
RIYADH: The World Bank and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) are working in close cooperation to promote investments for the rehabilitation of historic city centers in the Kingdom, an SCTNH spokesman said on Wednesday.In...

Stay Connected

Facebook