Vicky Lau, head chef of Tate Dining Room & Bar and named the Best Female Chef in Asia by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants in 2015, recognises there’s a responsibility that comes with the title. “When people come to your restaurant [or visit the TCSM], you’re setting an example as to what they can do at home,” she says. Hence the importance of the education of health and diet and addressing sustainability issues. She bemoans supermarkets’ wastage of odd-sized or odd-coloured produce, and the perils of over-farming. “If one product becomes very popular, I tend not to use it in my cooking, to avoid things like over-fishing and over-farming. We really need to be aware of that,” she says.
As for The Refinery’s chef Jacky Chan, health and quality are key motives to cooking local. For his dish, he’ll be using local pork belly, sourced direct from a farm in the New Territories. “When you use local, organic produce you are almost guaranteeing that the source is good; what goes into the vegetables is all documented,” he says. “At the farm where the pigs are raised, the hygiene level was incredibly high – which gives confidence in the quality of the meat.”