There really is no other event like it here – a night when hundreds of Hong Kong and Macau’s top chefs, F&B professionals and food lovers can get together to celebrate the achievements of the industry’s most talented names. Combine that with a stunning venue year after year, free-flow champagne and top-notch canapes, and you have an event that has grown to become the firm fixture on the dining scene it is today.
This November marked the third time we celebrated the launch of our annual Hong Kong Tatler Best Restaurants guide, which is actually in its 32nd edition, and it also marks my third year as editor of this publication. It’s been incredible to see the awards gain more traction every year, from the inaugural event at the newly-opened Duddell’s in 2013 to its exceptional second year at the inimitable Mott 32 in 2014 to the extraordinary party we pulled off on November 19th at The Ocean.
When we set out to create an event to celebrate the newly created Top 20 List and Best of Awards, it was less of an excuse for us to party than it was to give our favourite food personalities and champions that exact excuse. After all, being in the F&B industry is tough – we, as the critics and the journalists, have it easy – and one aim of our awards night is to give much-deserved kudos to those who have worked so hard to give us, the discerning public, an unforgettable and hospitable experience.
Truth be told, we were all a little worried that the out-of-the-way location in Repulse Bay may have deterred some guests from attending (every positive RSVP we received was a pleasant surprise!), and the turnout was more than we had hoped for. I was struck by how much support we received from everyone, from our readers to the chefs to all those vital individuals who work behind-the-scenes, and all our friends in the media industry. The eternal patience of our amazing events team and the support of our sponsors, including The Ocean, Perrier-Jouët, Sanpellegrino & Acqua Panna, and Li TV, contributed to the resounding success of the event as a whole.
My favourite moments from the night? A lot of them are in the above video, but they would have to include:
Seeing everyone arrive in their glammest threads and getting snap-happy with our mini gold coins (don’t forget to tag #BRG2016!)
The legend Pierre Gagnaire himself arriving with Jean Denis le Bras, and gamely taking selfies with his adoring fans
Awarding the first ten Top 20 Restaurants (even though being in the limelight does not come naturally)
Seeing the reactions of our guests while they watched our short film, Life of a Critic
Best New Chef of 2016 Agustin Balbi biting into his new gold medal like an Olympian
The night may be over, but we continue to relive it through our continued coverage of #BRG2016 on here and on our social media channels (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook). And it won’t be long until we start work on the next guide, our 2017 edition. Chefs, are you ready?
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