“If there is something the world needs in this day and age, it is hope,” said Michelle Ong, chairwoman of First Initiative Foundation (FIF), the charitable organisation that, since 2010, has supported the arts, educational initiatives and community welfare programmes in Hong Kong and beyond. Every year, Ong’s FIF events spotlight creative talents from the city and abroad, and bring together artists, musicians and culinary greats to create what Ong called “a melting pot of culture, creativity, passion and finesse”. Her latest fundraiser, titled Hope & Harmony, was a collaboration with the French May Arts Festival. It featured an elaborate meal prepared by some of the city’s top chefs—who collaborated on a special menu for the evening—followed by a performance by the pianist Niu Niu and cellist Laurent Perrin.
For the dinner, Ong brought together four leading names of the culinary arts to create a menu that played with the concept of French and Chinese fusion. The line-up featured Vicky Lau of Tate Dining Room & Bar (recently anointed with its second Michelin star), Maxime Gilbert of Écriture, and Maxim’s master chefs Wu Yuk Ming and Tang Leung Hung. The collaboration brought out the specialities of each chef—Lau’s knack for playing on textures and imagery, Gilbert’s finely honed French technique, Wu’s decades of barbecue experience and Tang’s delicate touch when it comes to dim sum—for a menu that told a story of mutual respect, collaboration and innovation.
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