Dive into Stories Behind Three Culinary Masterminds
10 Jul 2020
Meet three of our Master Chefs in Hong Kong, and discover how each of their culinary journeys are revealed through their most celebrated dishes.
From their childhood experiences to the histories and cultures which have shaped their culinary journeys thus far - behind each chef's signature dish lies a story. Let’s take a deeper look into the stories behind the creations from three of Hong Kong’s finest culinary masterminds.
CHEF OLIVIER ELZER - L’ENVOL
The finer detail is something Culinary Director, Olivier Elzer, seeks to perfect at One MICHELIN Star restaurant L’Envol. Highly regarded as one of the leading French chefs in Hong Kong, Chef Elzer is passionate about featuring the tastes, textures and techniques of French cuisine. From humble beginnings helping out at his mom’s local restaurant in Alsace, he quickly rose through the ranks taking him across acclaimed restaurants such as the three-starred Pierre Gagnaire in Paris to La Pyramide in Vienne - achieving an impressive 19 MICHELIN stars over 11 consecutive years. Ensuring the distinctive French heritage shines through in his creations, classical dishes make up the structure of the menu, while creative, new ideas drive the elevation of his French dishes.
Highlighting this passion, the Prestige Caviar Menu is an ode to Chef Elzer’s precise and delicate craftsmanship. Each course showcases the most premium caviar from around the world including Shadi, Kristal, L’Imperial, Oscietra and Beluga—perfectly paired to complement the flavors of each ingredient. Dishes such as fresh Brittany razor clams served with the famous amber-hued Kristal Caviar, strike a wonderful balance due to the mineral freshness of the clams enhancing the caviar’s flavor—a taste sensation thanks to Chef Elzer’s precise palate.
Such decadence culminates with the famed L’Envol cheese trolley featuring specially curated artisanal cheeses from its cheese cellar paired with homemade condiments. The accompaniment of over 800 wines and more than 100 references of Champagne, all handpicked by Chief Sommelier Tristan Pommier, concludes Chef Elzer’s unrelenting pursuit of the ultimate French dining experience.
CHEF JACK CHAN - CELESTIAL COURT
At Celestial Court, your palate is presented with meticulously executed, award-winning dishes thanks to Executive Chinese Chef, Jack Chan. Born and raised in a family running a dried seafood and Chinese herbs business, Chef Chan naturally gained insights into sourcing and preparing natural ingredients for his recipes. Beginning his culinary journey over 25 years ago, Chef Chan constantly strives for distinctive ways to combine ingredients—a characteristic clearly reflected in the menu at Celestial Court.
An outstanding example is the specialty roast whole suckling pig—an unmissable experience which requires you to pre-order two days in advance to avoid any disappointment! This mouthwatering classic not only delivers with its signature crackling skin but also pleases with its stuffing of pearl barley, black truffles, glutinous rice and Yunnan ham–a balanced fusion of premium Western and Asian ingredients, thanks to Chef Chan’s visionary blend of ingredients. A further showcase of his vision is the selection of refined and expertly curated dim sum specialities. As a well established go-to restaurant for dim sum lovers, diners are presented with traditional favorites enhanced by a touch of modern flair. The delicious barbecue pork bun oozes with a familiar filling of pork and barbecue sauce, encased within a slightly sweetened bamboo charcoal-infused bun. Also, the signature shrimp dumplings justify its stature as a treasured favorite with well-proportioned morsels of fresh shrimps and crunchy bamboo shoots wrapped within a translucent evenly-pleated skin. Beyond Chef Chan’s creations, the elegant ambience of a spacious open dining area, tastefully decorated with warm burl wood panels and raw silk wall coverings, affirms Celestial Court as the epitome of oriental sophistication.
CHEF ANGELO AGLIANO - TOSCA DI ANGELO
Championing natural flavors is also highly important to Chef Angelo Agliano at one MICHELIN Star restaurant Tosca di Angelo. Taking inspiration from his hometown in Sicily, Chef Agliano is a strong believer in allowing the original flavor of ingredients to shine through. As his father was a fisherman, seafood is one of Chef Agliano’s favorite ingredients and features prominently throughout his dishes. Tosca di Angelo is a beautiful example of Italian fine dining in Kowloon and seeks to bring people together with its homely fare and diverse menu. Chef Agliano explains, “in Southern Italian culture, food is a very important element, so much so that people do not greet each other by saying hello, but asking, have you eaten yet?”. Influenced by this ethos, the chef proudly conveys his philosophy of cooking with sincerity for everyone.
Chef Agliano has crafted a trio of favorite dishes since taking the helm at Tosca di Angelo—Mezzi Paccheri with Sicilian Red Shrimps and Basil Pesto Sauce; Risotto Acquerello with Hokkaido Sea Urchin and Fresh Wasabi; and Traditional Tiramisù with Coffee Granita. In the first dish, Italian seafood takes center stage as heads of Sicilian red shrimps are simmered for the bisque sauce to create a rich base for the Italian Mezzi Paccheri pasta and succulent shrimp meat. The risotto creation brings a touch of Asian influence in recognition of the chef’s working experience in the region infusing the flavors of Hokkaido sea urchin and fresh wasabi with aged carnaroli rice from Italy. Lastly, the traditional Italian dessert gets a slight twist—cacao powder is replaced with 75% Amedei chocolate from Italy. “Because I remember when I was little, I was always choked by the cacao powder on the first bite on the tiramisu. I do not want my guests to encounter this unpleasant experience like I did,” Chef Agliano says. With such attention to detail, a dining experience at Tosca di Angelo delivers on its promise of pure ingredients cooked with sincerity.