55 secondary students from different schools in Hong Kong attended a one-day journalism workshop in Tai O Heritage Hotel on the 8th of July, 2017. Co-organised by the South China Morning Post and Sino Group, the Sino Junior Reporter Programme 2017 allows students to learn about journalism and local food culture.
During the event, participants interviewed Mr. Karl Law and Mr. Raymond Ting from Tai O Heritage Hotel who shared their views on how Tai O local culinary culture is preserved in the hotel.
Hong Kong is famous for its speed and efficiency, which has created an advantage for its catering industry. Raymond Ting, Sous Chef of Tai O Heritage Hotel, thinks that Hong Kong people are quick learners. Local chefs can create dishes based on different locations. For instance, shrimp paste and salty egg york, both well-known local products of Tai O, are used to create new recipes in the hotel restaurant, and have become mouth-watering signature dishes to attract locals and tourists.
“We are like a small sparrow but we have all the vital organs,” said Ting referring to the hotel which has been opened for just five years.
In the hotel, global culinary styles such as Italian, Chinese and Mexican are served. But Ting especially highlighted the unique “Hong Kong style” dishes he was most proud of. For examples, the “Pork Chop Bun” marinated with Tai O’s homemade shrimp paste and the signature drink “Mountain Begonia” representing the colours of the Tai O sunset.
Ting feels that Hong Kong should be very proud of its ability to absorb western culture and turn it into its own. It may be why our local foods always attract foreign tourists, as Karl Law, Manager of Tai O Heritage Hotel said, “Sometimes, tourists who come to our restaurant only want a bowl of wonton noodles.”
This hotel has made an effort in preserving Hong Kong culinary culture. We can also be a part of the mission. We as Hong Kong locals should try our very best to show support for our local food culture and pass it on to the next generation.