As the only Argentinian chef in Asia to be recognized by the MICHELIN Guide with a star rating, Agustin Balbi is the new Ambassador of the Argentine Country Brand


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    [29th April 2022 – Hong Kong] Opened in July 2020 together with JIA Group, Innovative Spanish x Japanese restaurant Andō continues to go from strength to strength: earning one MICHELIN star just six months into opening, retaining the coveted MICHELIN star for its second year running, and Chef-Founder Agustin Balbi receiving the second highest Hong Kong ranking on Best Chef Awards 2021. Andō’s numerous accolades are a testament to the team’s pursuit for gastronomic excellence and the chef’s deeply personal and idiosyncratic Spanish x Japanese cuisine, for which he is the only Argentinian chef in Asia to be awarded a MICHELIN star.


    For the latest milestone in his string of achievements, Chef Agustin Balbi has won the Marca Pais award – and named Ambassador of the Argentine Country Brand by the Government of Argentina. The prestigious award recognises Argentine individuals who stand out in their daily work and whose contribution to the Country Brand at a national and international level is significant, or of high impact.



    As the first Argentinian chef to receive a MICHELIN star in Asia, Chef Agustin blazes the trail for other Argentines working within the hospitality industry. Other Marca Pais awardees in the past include Argentinian persons of note such as Mora Godoy, known for her distinction in tango-dance, and polo player Adolfo Cambiasso, who is currently ranked no.1 in the World Polo Tour.


    To celebrate this award, a special dinner was held on the night of 28th April at Ando that was attended by the members of the Government of Argentina and guests of the restaurant. All revenue generated from the night was donated towards the family of Marcelo Troncoso (@troncoso__marcelo) & Jesi Pussetto (@jesica_pussetto), an Argentine family who resides in Hong Kong whose child is currently battling cancer.


    “On this occasion we are granting this award to Chef Agustín Balbi because we find in his work in the field of gastronomy a reflection of the persistent effort and the remarkable creativity that best characterize Argentinean society and culture. Agustin’s own personal and professional journey, blends together and integrates a diversity of heterogeneous elements to compose a novel experience that is contained in every one of his creations. Having worked diligently throughout these years to find a language that allowed him to share with others the many paths he has walked, the Government of Argentina is pleased to acknowledge Agustin’s innovative approach and distinguishes him as a Country Brand Ambassador.” said Maria Veronica Grygianiec, Deputy Consul of Government of Argentina.


    About the Marca Pais Award

    Since 2004, Argentina has upheld the tradition of “Marca Pais”,  which constitutes a State policy that seeks to position our country in the international level through its differential factors such as its traditions, its culture, its products and services, national talent, and tourist destinations. As part of the Marca Pais strategy, we have 3 types of representatives who spread the values of the brand: Ambassadors, Argentines in the World, and Friends of Argentina. The Marca Pais Ambassadors are  individuals of the Argentine nationality whose contribution to the dissemination of the Country Brand at a national and international level is significant or of high impact.


    Andō’s modern Spanish x Japanese tasting menus

    Andō’s modern tasting menus are filled with a complexity and multiplicity in meanings, one that nods at his ancestral Argentinian roots, while gazing at the lands that shaped his craft – Japan. With no printed menus in the restaurant, guests leave the fate of their meal in the chef’s hands. Every course is deeply storied and grounded in a precious memory of Chef Agustin’s unorthodox journey as a chef. Guests can also enjoy high quality Argentine wines amid a warm and inviting atmosphere, characteristic of the Argentinian culture and hospitality.





    One Michelin-starred Andō is Argentine Chef Agustin Ferrando Balbi’s first restaurant, launched in partnership with JIA group. Defying labels and bending genres, Andō’s modern tasting menus are a translation of Agustin’s own unorthodox journey onto the plate, one that nods at his ancestral roots in Spain, while gazing at the lands that shaped his craft –Japan.



    Address: 1/F, Somptueux Central, 52 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong

    Contact Tel: – +852-9161-8697
    Website – www.andohk.com

    Instagram: @ando.hkg @agux1988 @jiagroup



    JIA Group is a Hong Kong based hospitality firm that is internationally praised and recognized for executing spaces and experiences rooted in style and substance. Founded in 2004 by entrepreneur Yenn Wong, JIA Group has established a reputation internationally as an award- winning trendsetter in the hospitality industry. The current portfolio includes 13 venues in Hong Kong, full list of the restaurants and bars could be found on JIA’s website here. JIA Group is listed on the GEM board on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.