Executive Chef Agustin Balbi Joins Forces with Chef Chele Gonzalez of Gallery VASK Manila at HAKU Hong Kong
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<<31st January, 2018 – Hong Kong>> Curated by the legendary Japanese chef Hideaki Matsuo (3*) of Kashiwaya in Osaka and led by Executive Chef Agustin Balbi, HAKU takes guests on a sensory journey through quality ingredients showcased with age-old techniques and modern sensibilities. On the evenings of 23 & 24 February, HAKU presents a joint collaboration menu priced at HK$1,980+10% per guest with Gallery VASK, the #1 restaurant in Manila and the only restaurant in the Philippines to rank in the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants award list (#35 in 2017, #39 in 2016). Recognised for his Anthropological Cuisine, Executive Chef Chele Gonzalez celebrates Philippine history, culture and traditions through innovative flavours. This is also the first time which Gallery VASK will showcase their cuisine and talent in Hong Kong.
HAKU– The Chef & Concept
Adhering to the ancient Japanese culinary practice of kappo, a cuisine which embraces the 5 primary cooking techniques of grilling, steaming, frying, simmering and raw preparations, HAKU Hong Kong has taken the age-old tradition and transformed it to the cosmopolitan tastes of Hong Kong. Curated by the 3 Michelin star master chef Hideaki Matsuo, a Relais & Châteaux grand chef and owner of the legendary Kashiwaya in Osaka, HAKU Hong Kong opened in July 2017 in Tsim Sha Tsui’s bustling Harbour City and was named by T.Dining by Hong Kong Tatler as one of the top 9 new restaurants of 2017 and Top 20 restaurants in Hong Kong. The open kitchen is led by Executive Chef Agustin Balbi, Tatler Hong Kong’s Best New Chef 2016, and his creative European flair can be seen throughout the meticulous menu of Japanese-inspired dishes.
Seasonality plays a large role in HAKU’s ever-evolving menu, which changes according to the availability of ingredients – many of which is flown in daily from Japan based on the recommendations of Chef Matsuo.
Gallery VASK – The Chef & Concept
Hailing from Torrelavega, Spain, Chef Chele Gonzalez has worked at some of the most respected culinary establishments in the world, including Andra Mari, Arzak, El Bulli, El Celler de Can Roca, Nerua-Guggenheim, and Mugaritz. Chele’s progressive culinary philosophy stems from his journey as a chef, during which he was most inspired by the growers, producers, breeders, makers and the communities he encountered. In his own words, he explains, “Our journey has led us to work with local farmers and fishermen. We use fresh, indigenous products while honouring their true nature.”
In 2013, Gallery VASK was born. Together with architect and artist Juan Carlo Calma, Chef Chele opened his restaurant based on Anthropological Cuisine in the heart of Manila, Philippines. Leveraging long-standing relationships with local farmers and communities, Chele strives to innovate local Philippine produce and tap into the deep historical connection that the Philippines shares with Spain. Gallery VASK is a constantly evolving, curated art space inspired by people, nature, memories, textures, techniques, travels and history. Dedicated to its philosophy of discovery and exploration, Gallery VASK is currently renovating its space to establish, among other things, a Research & Development department aimed at promoting continuous education about food among his culinary team and guests.
HAKU x Gallery VASK
Corn – Shiso – Uni
Purple Rice Cracker – Lardo – Sancho
Beetroot / Ikura/ Dashi Cream
Polmard beef / Katsuobushi
Kinilaw – Iberico – Cilantro
Hotate / Kiury / Chimi
Banana – Peanuts – Coconut
Black cod / Kabu / Anchovy
Beef – Soyamansi – Garlic Casein
King crab / Koshihikari rice
Sweet Monggo – Pandan Mousse – Rice Crisp – Latik Ice Cream
Tomato / Amaou Ichigo / Granita
Mango – Vanilla – Rice
“I respect the unique philosophy of Gallery VASK, a pioneer of sustainable cooking practices. Like HAKU, emphasis is placed on the quality of produce, and innovating traditional cuisine with modern flavours,” says Agustin Balbi, Executive Chef of HAKU. “I’m very excited for this incredible opportunity to work with Chef Chele.”
Key Restaurant Info – HAKU
Address: Shop OT G04B, Ground Floor, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui
Opening Hours: Lunch – 12pm-3pm, Dinner – 6pm-late
A giant of modern Japanese cuisine, Chef Hideaki Matsuo has overseen the kitchen at 3-Michelin starred Osaka restaurant Kashiwaya for over two decades. A Relais & Châteaux chef, Chef Matsuo’s haute Japanese cuisine and dedication to the art of Japanese tea seen him become one of his country’s most celebrated culinary figures. Agustin Balbi, Executive Chef of HAKU, was named Best New Chef 2016 by Hong Kong Tatler. His diverse international experience is reflected in beautifully prepared contemporary dishes that are heavily inspired by his work in Japan. HAKU represents the culmination of Matsuo’s philosophy and Balbi’s technical prowess, through shareable Japanese cuisine within a casual chic ambiance and a kappo-style kitchen. Also known as the “theatre”, the kappo concept promotes conversation flow between chefs and guests. The freshest and highest quality ingredients flown in daily from Japan will be prepared in the traditional Japanese way and accented with innovative European twists.
About Gallery VASK
Gallery VASK is a constantly evolving, curated art space inspired by people, nature, memories, textures, techniques, travels and history. Its development revolves around an innate desire to learn about culture and traditions, as well as native products and ingredients and how to use them in a manner that allows for future growth. It is a venue to discover, dream and explore limitless concepts inspired by Philippine art, architecture, food and culture. Recognized for its Anthropological Cuisine, the menu celebrates Philippine history, culture and traditions and translates it into flavors.