There is a role that fine dining can play in raising awareness around local produce, and to help elevate its reputation. My pop-up is my chance to celebrate local ingredients, something I find meaningful
1:45PM, we arrived at Taste Kitchen in PMQ. Walking past the empty tables in the closed restaurant, there is a box of 3 big slabs of pork belly. “Your driver literally just delivered it”, Wingo told us. Perfect timing — as we were visiting to see how JouSun.com’s HK-raised Iberico pork belly from Ying Ming Farm, freshly butchered that very morning, is being turned into a fine dining experience through the talents of a top chef.
下午一時許，我們走進位於原創方的Taste Kitchen。在這尚未開始營業的餐廳𥚃，桌上放著一盒新鮮豬腩肉。Wingo告訴我們：「這些豬肉在前一刻才送到。」可謂正合時宜 —— 我們是次登門造訪，正是為了這頓黑毛豬盛宴。 Wingo準備以其精湛的廚藝，為我們泡製一道道精緻的佳餚。這些黑毛豬並不是外國的產物；牠們都由JouSun.com夥伴農場英明農場自家養殖，而且每天早上才屠宰，十分新鮮。
Wingo Hung is a Hong Kong chef with experience working at numerous Michelin-starred restaurants here in the city and in the UK. For 5 weeks, he is stepping out of a star-studded kitchen to take charge of Taste Kitchen, a venue at PMQ designed especially for passionate chefs to run pop-up restaurants and share their culinary ideas. Wingo’s menu is named “+852 – What could our land offer?”, and as the name suggests, local HK produce take centre stage.
Wingo Hung 是一名香港廚師，曾於多間米芝蓮星餐廳工作和受訓，足跡遍佈英國和香港。在這五個星期，他將主理Taste Kitchen，為客人提供上乘的味道。Taste Kitchen是一所位於原創坊的餐廳，致力與不同的廚師合作創建快閃餐廳 （pop-up restaurants），從而與客人分享他們對飲食的信仰。是次，Wingo將其盛宴命名為《+852 – What can our land offer?》（+852 － 我們的土地所給予我們的…）。顧名思義，是次的主角是本地的農產品。
“In countries such as the UK, people have a strong attachment with and love for locally produced/grown ingredients. This is widely celebrated in British gastronomy”, Wingo tells us. “Here in Hong Kong, this isn’t really the case”. Indeed, Wingo feels that the locally produced food here does not yet have the same consistent track record for quality. However, Wingo sees the potential. “There is a role that fine dining can play in raising awareness around local produce, and to help elevate its reputation. My pop-up is my chance to celebrate local ingredients, something I find meaningful”.
Local Iberico Belly 本地黑毛豬
As we chatted, Wingo was busy preparing his pork belly. As he picked a few remaining strands of black hair off the pork, I asked why he chose Iberico specifically. “Iberico has a better distributed fat content, giving it superior texture and flavours. It’s also relatively new in Hong Kong. I really enjoyed my first experience of Iberico and when I learned that someone made the effort to introduce these pigs to Hong Kong I wanted to support them.”
Preparing his pork for overnight marinating, Wingo neatly trims the bones away and saves them for his puree. For maximum flavors and the perfect crackling, Wingo packs the belly with a thick layer of salt, sugar and toasted spice mix on top and bottom before wrapping it in layers of cling film and storing it in the fridge overnight.
He moves on to prepare a sample dish for us. With a small portion of belly that he has already sous vide cooked, he puts the belly skin down in a pan of low-temperature oil. He explains that frying the skin with oil using very low heat first helps to release the gelatin and fat inside the skin, so when you turn up the heat afterwards, you’ll end up with extra crispy crackling.
The finished dish is pork belly and seared red cabbage, served with a unique hawthorn berry puree. Cut into perfect rectangles, the two pieces of belly certainly look like they belong in a high-end restaurant. The texture of the meat is beautifully soft while the crackling is incredibly crispy. There is undoubtedly a resemblance to a Hong Kong delicacy, Cantonese roast pork. Wingo grins and tells us that that is indeed an inspiration for his dish. The other instantly recognizable flavor in the dish was from the hawthorn berry puree, immediately reminding us of a local childhood treat — hawthorn berry flakes (山楂餅). The subtle kick of sourness from the puree works deliciously — very much like the classic combination pork and apple, only more uniquely local and nostalgic.
Wingo’s celebration of what our land can offer is about both demonstrating the potential of quality local ingredients, as well as celebrating the wonderful flavors found in our rich culinary heritage. Jou Sun is proud to be working with chefs like Wingo who, like us, believe in local ingredients and in supporting local food producers. Find out more about his pop-up restaurant here, and visit JouSun.com to browse through what our partner local farms have to offer!
Buy Local Iberico Pork From Ying Ming Farm: http://bit.ly/2NwU4LT