‘East Meats West’ as top chefs face off in Hong Kong

On the final day of the Irish trade mission to China, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, met with some of Hong Kong’s top chefs at ‘East Meats West’.

This competition was a high-end culinary event organised by Bord Bia to promote Irish and European grass-fed beef and lamb.

The event is part of a three-year campaign co-funded by Bord Bia and the European Union.

Held in partnership with the Hong Kong Chef’s Association, ‘East Meats West’ involved over 40 local chefs who were required to design a two-course menu with European beef and lamb.

Today (Friday, May 18), the top six entrants competed in a live cook-off to win the overall title, while all six finalists will travel to Ireland in June.

Trip to Ireland

As part of the trip, the chefs will visit Irish farms, factories and processors to experience EU food safety, quality and sustainability controls first-hand.

The prestigious judging panel included Kwanghi Chan, an award-winning chef born in Hong Kong, raised in Donegal.

Kwanghi rose to fame representing Ireland in international cooking competitions while helming Michelin-starred restaurant of Cliff House Hotel in Co. Waterford and most recently masterminded Dublin’s fusion restaurant Soder+Ko.

Speaking in Hong Kong today, Minister Creed congratulated the chefs and invited all attendees to take time to travel to Ireland to immerse themselves in our food culture.

Creed Hong Kong
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed in Hong Kong

He said: “We are here today to celebrate the very best of EU beef and lamb, to tell you how it is produced and why is the best in the world.

“We in Ireland are very proud of our farm produce. We are also committed members of the European Union with all of the advantages it brings for investors and traders.

Our high-quality, grass-fed beef and lamb production is underpinned by the highest EU safety and traceability standards allowing us the opportunity to market our products worldwide.

Tara McCarthy, chief executive of Bord Bia, said there was a real excitement around building relationships with the Hong Kong chef community.

She added: “Hong Kong is one of the most exciting places in the world for cuisine right now. It is a culture that values innovation and also has a great respect for and understanding of tradition.

“That’s a great fit for European and Irish food and drink, and we think there’s a real opportunity for us to contribute to that developing food culture.

We are looking forward to hosting the chefs in Ireland and building on existing relationships.

In addition to the Hong Kong chefs, Bord Bia is also set to welcome Yufeng Li, a high-profile Chinese blogger and online influencer to Ireland next month.

Awareness

Yufeng has been engaged by Bord Bia to help drive awareness of Origin Green and Irish dairy products in China.

During her visit to Ireland, she will share stories of Irish food and farming with her one and a half million social media followers. Yesterday, over three million Chinese consumers tuned in to watch her interview with Minister Creed and Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia.

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