Could Okra’s Max Levy Be The King Of Culinary Collaborations?
March 21, 2018 | BY Charmaine Mok
Born in New Orleans, this Japanese-trained former Beijing denizen is no stranger to the benefits of absorbing myriad culinary influences, and this thoughtful appraisal of global flavours has often manifested through his genre-bending creations at Okra Kitchen and Okra Bar. We saw this first-hand when he collaborated with chef Lee Man-Sing for the inaugural #DIMSUMDUETSevent last November, where the duo came up with surprising new takes on classic dim sum items, reinterpreting a tradition with real verve.
This month, over four days at Taste of Hong Kong, Levy will be presenting a series of dish crossovers with some of his favourite restaurants: Mott 32, Kin’s Kitchen and Uma Nota. “Hong Kong has always been a melting pot of culture and food and it is important in our philosophy of Okra to always pay tribute to whereever we stand, as well as opening people’s minds to new possibilities,” he tells us. Take a look at the hybrid dishes below, each available for one day only:
Friday 23 March: Okra x Uma Nota
On the second day of the festival, Levy will team up with the Soho restaurant to present their Brazilian-Japanese lovechild, a fish dish described as “a bit of a nanbanzuke/escabeche mash-up”. The dry-aged pompano nanbanzuke makes use of tongue-tingling ingredients such as shichimi, chilli, garlic, pickled vegetables and Sicilian kombu.
You can also catch Levy from 6:30-7:00pm on this day when he takes part in our Off Menu talks—come find us near the VIP lounges at Taste of Hong Kong!
Saturday 24 March: Okra x Mott 32
We’re told that Levy and Lee from Mott 32 developed a bit of a bromance since they first worked together at the T.Dining #DIMSUMDUETS last November, and we’re thrilled to see that they’ve teamed up again to present their take on yum cha for the festival. The Dim Sum Trio includes dry-aged pompano shumai, cashew butter pancake, and shrimp paste spring roll. "It’s fun and I am really happy to work with Max again,” said Lee. “Throughout the entire progress, it inspired me to create more new dishes at Mott 32. I am really looking forward to getting all the feedback from the customers at Taste!”
Sunday 25 March: Okra x Kin’s Kitchen
Offering a true taste of Hong Kong is the acclaimed Kin’s Kitchen, leaders in Cantonese gastronomy and one of Levy’s favourite local restaurants. Chef-proprietor Lau Chun will be working together with Levy to highlight some ingredients that are integral to our city’s culinary history, such as Lau Fau Shan oysters—this is a collaboration that came about following their field trip to this district in the New Territories where the oysters are farmed and dried. The result? Dried Lau Fau Shan oyster with egg, bean noodles and Lea & Perrins. “Max is devoted to understanding traditions while being innovative and creative,” said Lau. “It’s really inspiring working on the collaboration.”
Taste of Hong Kong takes place at the Central Harbourfront between March 22 and 25. For more about the festival, visit www.tasteofhongkong.com
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