Hong Kong’s can-do spirit and love of life have not been dampened in any way by the pandemic, and this shows in the production of the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival that will run from November 11 until December 15, 2020.
Normally an in-person event, as was most events in the past around the world, the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival, organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), has creatively planned to go ahead with an “online + offline” format for the first time. This will give audiences at home and abroad a new gastronomic experience not bound by time and geographical constraints.
The Festival will offer exciting online experiences, including an Online Wine Cellar featuring rare varietals and special offers, and live-streamed cooking and wine-tasting masterclasses on a one-stop online platform. There will be cook-along classes and live demos from Michelin-starred chefs, wine tastings with renowned sommeliers, beer pairing with local brewers, and more.
HKTB Chairman Dr. Y. K. Pang explained the strategic move: “The Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival has been one of the most popular events among locals and tourists alike since its inception over a decade ago. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak this year, we hope people can continue to enjoy Hong Kong’s unique dining culture while providing business opportunities for the local F&B sector amidst this challenging economic climate. Organizing the Festival virtually allows us to achieve both objectives without compromising public health and safety.”
Convenient Online Masterclasses
For global audiences, the highlight of the event is a diverse series of 34 online masterclasses that viewers can enjoy complimentary of charge. The masterclasses will be live-streamed on WineDineFestival.DiscoverHongKong.com for three consecutive Saturdays and Sundays from November 21 to December 6 and then made available for on-demand viewings as well. They cover a wide range of topics from wine and spirits trends to fine dining, healthy eating, and the art of food plating. Offline experiences for local consumers include special deals and gastronomic events offered by hundreds of dining outlets across Hong Kong to enjoy.
Join in with Cook-along Classes
For an authentic taste of Hong Kong, at-home chefs can livestream a variety of cook-along classes and expand their quarantine cookbooks. Executive Chef Adam Wong of Forum restaurant will instruct viewers how to make his Hong Kong-style fried rice Ah Yat Fried Rice that should not be missed. For those looking to hone their fine dining culinary skills in the kitchen, live demonstrations by celebrated Hong Kong chefs such as two Michelin-starred Shane Osborn of Arcane and Cornerstone and Vicky Cheng of VEA Restaurant & Lounge are a great opportunity to watch and learn new tips and tricks.
Let’s Talk Wine
Oenophiles and wine lovers alike can tune in to the wine talks by Hong Kong-based, internationally-acclaimed critic James Suckling and Master of Wine Debra Meiburg, who will share recommendations on the themes “New Wave Bordeaux” and “The Pacific West” respectively. Suckling will introduce three bottles of affordable new wine from Bordeaux.
“Hong Kong is one of the best wine cities in the world, ranking at the same level as London and New York,” Suckling said. “Hong Kong also remains the number one export market for Bordeaux wines. This year’s Festival is going to reach more people around the world, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Gather Round, Ladies!
An all-lady line-up is featured on November 28. Themed Lady’s Talk, five influencers who are shaking up Hong Kong’s food and beverage scene will each host a masterclass to share a unique take on their own expertise. Shirley Kwok, founder of vegan bakery The Cakery, will lead a cook-along class in which viewers can make their own vegan and refined sugar-free Apple Pie. Head Chef Vicky Lau of TATE Dining Room will lead viewers through a live demonstration of how to make Crispy Egg with Mushroom Soup. Certified sake sommelier Jamie Lo, Asia-Pacific’s youngest Master of Wine Sarah Heller, and actress-turned-winemaker Bernice Liu will take participants through their own tastings of sake, champagne, and wine respectively.
Ingenuity and Creativity = Fabulous Festival
“Although the HKTB’s mega events have been suspended for some time, we are drawing on our ingenuity and resources to optimize and adapt promotions against the backdrop of a pandemic,” said HKTB Chairman, Dr. Pang. “That’s why we have decided to resume the staging of mega events and adopt a new ‘online + offline’ format for the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2020. It is a new venture designed for the new normal in which we find ourselves. The HKTB is doing this to ensure people can join this annual event in spite of the pandemic and to help our hard-hit businesses to promote their products and open up new business opportunities in these challenging times.”
“Our objective is to continue giving the Hong Kong economy a boost and to send out a positive message to the world that Hong Kong’s can-do spirit and love of life have not been dampened in any way by the pandemic, and that we can use our innovation to stage our signature events while we prepare to welcome visitors back to our city,” added Dr. Pang.
The Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival was launched in 2009, after Hong Kong and Bordeaux signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Wine-related Business. The large-scale outdoor event quickly became the talk of the town and was dubbed one of the world’s top 10 international food and wine festivals by Forbes Traveler.
For more information about the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival 2020 and full program of the online masterclasses, please visit WineDineFestival.DiscoverHongKong.com
For more information and a schedule of the Online Masterclasses, click here.