Top photo credit: Canibales
San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country will celebrate its 17th edition in 2015, having established itself as a world reference in haute cuisine and as an unmissable event for the best chefs in the world to come together and look, learn and progress.
2015 was a special year for our region, with Hong Kong and Singapore as the two guest culinary destinations at Gastronomika. From October 4 to 7, in addition to the best chefs in Spain and around the world also in attendance, with special attention this year to those from both of these Asian cities.
Everything is possible there. From the finest cooking of refined luxury to the most "trendy street food". Two Asian cities "that are going stratospheric", in the words of Martin Berasategui, "two examples of Asian cuisine that have yet to really take off".
Hong Kong has a culinary history resulting from complex intersections, contradictions and dialogues between East and West, between the refined opulence of the grand restaurants and the exotic humility of the street, and between the infinite and very varied Chinese cuisine which is concentrated here and shines.
Four chefs from Hong Kong showcased the emerging refinement of Hong Kong's dining scene:
Yau Tim-Lai amassed a large following in Hong Kong after running private kitchens for 10 years before opening Tim's Kitchen in 2000. In 2009, Tim’s Kitchen Hong Kong was awarded its first Michelin-star and two Michelin-stars for the Macau branch. In 2010, the Tim’s Kitchen Hong Kong received two Michelin-stars. In 2011, both Hong Kong and Macau received two Michelin-stars. Chef Yau Tim-Lai is celebrated as one of Hong Kong's best Chinese chefs.
Using fresh produce from the restaurant's own organic farms, producing Yin Yan's soy milk and honouring authentic Chinese recipes, Margaret Xu Yuan and Yin Yan restaurant are venerated when it comes to seasonal, time-honoured cooking. Using her creative interpretation of lost Chinese gastronomic heritage, in 2008, she opened the Kitchen Yin Yan in Wanchai, eventually moving Yin Yang to a seaside town and changing its name to the Yin Yang Coastal. This move meant a greater capacity to reinvent the oldest gastronomic culture of Hong Kong–the cooking of fishermen–one of Hong Kong's assets which has been declared an intangible cultural heritage.
Taiwanese-born, Canada raised Chef Jowett Yu’s inventive approach to chinese flavours has brought countless accolades and worldwide recognition to the cheeky Soho based restaurant Ho Lee Fook. Widely recognized for making his mark on Sydney’s happening food scene, Yu’s signature style of creative Chinese cuisine has evolved out of his unique cultural background as an ethnic Taiwanese who emigrated to North America at a young age. He now serves mouth-watering dishes which have turned both local and foreigner alike into zealots of Ho Lee Fook's cooking.
With an intent to heal people through food, Chef Nurdin Topham, protege of Raymond Blanc and alumni of the Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagan, opened NUR in 2014. Bolstered by a team of culinary powerhouses, the restaurant has seen rapid success, earning one Michelin star in less than one year of opening. The restaurant has pioneered the movement towards regionally sourced, nutritious, technically advanced fine dining. With a heavy focus on fermentation and the myriad health/flavour benefits it brings, NUR restaurant showcase the best of Asian produce, honouring ingredients and elevating them with the techniques of modern gastronomy.