This year, Nurdin is taking time to travel and further explore ingredients and food cultures outside of Hong Kong. It is important for chefs to continue to develop one’s ideas and knowledge, to keep educating themselves and their teams, and to progress. He will be in close contact with his chefs to relay inspiration throughout his travels to ensure the menus at NUR continue to embody his philosophy and bring guests invigorating, healthy dishes and ingredients. Read about Nurdin’s #NURonTour travels in Manila, Noto/Kyoto, Tokyo, and Copenhagen.

Even though I moved to Hong Kong a few years ago, I regularly go back home to the UK to see what is happening in the F&B industry and, of course, to see friends and family. This time, I had the opportunity to eat at Edinburgh Food Studio, which brings talented chefs from around the world. In London, I brought the best of two worlds together; my brother’s new bistro venture, and world-class baristas and coffee from the Philippines.

Edinburgh Food Studio

My friend Ben Reade, whom I met at the Nordic Food Lab, has set up Edinburgh Food Studio with his partner Sashana. They are both extremely talented people with a deep love and respect for food. The food studio serves as a focal point for researching food and cooking the best Scottish produce. They keep true to their tagline, “keeping food interesting”, by cooking 3 nights a week, hosting collaborative dinners with some amazing chefs, and interesting workshops with food producers, artists and gastronomic professionals.

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I was lucky enough to eat there and spend a day in the kitchen whilst Leonardo de Sousa was helming the stoves. The guest experience was intimate even as you dine on communal tables – the food was fantastic and was a great spirited event. I highly recommend you check this place out if you’re in Edinburgh. It was a wonderful weekend of feasting and also caught some great live blues music in one of Edinburgh’s many creative festivals.

Filipino Coffee in London

Whilst traveling in the Philippines back in April, I got to visit a wonderful surf town La Union, 6 hours north of Manila. We investigated the local foodscape there, visited an incredible local biodynamic rainforest farm, and hunted around local food markets. La Union is a wonderful place with lovely people that have set up some great businesses. I did a food popup at the charming Flotsam and Jetsom – a creative hostel where we cooked a meal for 50 people with the ingredients we had procured locally. It was a joy to work with so many new and delicious ingredients. To support me, Kiddo and Sly, who run El Union Coffee, a specialty coffee shop next to Flotsam and Jetsam, prepared cocktails to accompany the courses – they are both passionate about coffee and cocktails. They had sourced some incredible coffee from local growers near La Union which had a delicious flavor profile and, for me, the best coffee experience I had in the Philippines!

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So when Sly and Kiddo told me they were coming to London after representing the Philippines at the World Barista Championship in Dublin in June, it was a great opportunity to host another event together. This time at my brother’s new place L’Entrepôt in Hackney, East London, a great neighborhood bistro with great drinks and food. Sly and Kiddo got to showcase their skills and also some incredible coffee from the Philippines, which is a relatively new location to source coffee from. The day was a lot of fun; amazing coffee tastings throughout the day, and coffee, chocolate and rum cocktails in the evening. It was a great turnout and even culminated in a live impromptu gig downstairs with a couple of awesome Filipino musicians.

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After my UK trip, I’ll be heading back to Hong Kong. It was wonderful to experience ingredients from different cultures and countries. I look forward to working in the NUR kitchen as we prepare for the last few weeks of service before #NURonTour heads back to Edinburgh.

With over 18 years of experience, Chef Nurdin spent time at the Nordic Food Lab, Copenhagen, before founding NUR in 2014. He is now travelling the world for inspiration from local cultures. Relive Chef Nurdin’s journey on #NURonTour and @ntopham on Instagram.

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