20th March, 2017 by Natalie Wang
Simon Wilson, the man behind the Taste Festival series in Australia, is responsible for creating the Asian equivalent, Taste of Hong Kong. The event, which ran from 16-19 March, included a plethora of menus created by some of the city’s best restaurants, such as three Michelin-starred Amber at the Mandarin Oriental. In addition to the culinary feasts, the event also featured a Champagne bar with Laurent-Perrier as well as natural and organic wines provided by La Cabane. Wilson took time out to chat to dbHK about what he would serve for his last meal on earth, his ideal dinner party with Barack Obama and his attempt to use emojis to summarise his state of mind.
What inspired you to organise an event like Taste of Hong Kong?
I’ve worked on Taste for over seven years in four different countries. It’s a brand I know very well but it was a huge challenge. It was an exciting opportunity to bring it to Asia for the first time last year and the response from both restaurants and restaurants goers has emboldened us to do more and expand even further afield in Asia in the coming years.
Describe what to you is the quintessential taste of Hong Kong?
Its very hard to put it down to one thing, maybe the quintessential taste of Hong Kong is the ability to choose exactly what you want at any given moment! From roast goose to dim sum to high-end French cuisine to fun Japanese to modern European, Hong Kong has it all and we’ve tried to showcase this at Taste of Hong Kong.
If you only have one last meal left on earth, what food would you like to have?
My mother’s Christmas dinner – roast turkey and ham with all the trimmings enjoyed with my family. That is my all-time favourite meal.
What drink(s) would you serve for your last meal?
Champagne, then wine – at the moment I can’t get enough of Laurent-Perrier Grande Siecle, then maybe Brash Higgins Zibibbo or Occhipinti il frappato to finish out.
Who would you invite as your dream dinner guest(s) ?
Matthew Syed, Barack Obama, Alex Ferguson and Michael Collins.
If you can only select one dish to describe yourself. What would it be?
Rhubarb tart and custard – sweet but tart, decadent and indulgent.
Can you use a few emojis to express your current state of mind?
What’s the next Taste series of event after Hong Kong?
After Hong Kong we have Taste of Paris in May and Taste of London in June that will take us into the summer season.