If Hong Kong’s #CameraEatsFirst mentality has taught us anything, it’s that food and art are one of the same. When a dish is perfectly presented, we eat with our eyes as much as our mouths.
That’s why it makes perfect sense that Gormei – Asia’s first on-demand marketplace for bespoke dining experiences – has masterminded a concept to coincide Hong Kong Art Month that’ll make your eyes pop and your mouth water.
As Art Basel, Art Central and Le French May get underway, Gormei Art Month (GAM) launches a programme of events and special experiences to showcase the magic that occurs in a marriage between two of life’s finest crafts: art and gastronomy. There are 12 carefully curated events to choose from, but here are just five to whet your appetite.
Moving from finance to art at La Paloma
Many Hongkongers caught in the rat race fantasise about one day telling their boss to shove it and finally following their entrepreneurial dreams. If you’re in that rather rocky boat, join Adriana Alvarez-Nichol at Sheung Wan’s La Paloma restaurant on March 6. She’ll tell you what it took for her to make the jump from a high-powered finance job in London to opening Puerta Roja, Asia’s first art gallery dedicated to Latin American and Spanish art in Hong Kong.
The event will feature a candid Q&A session with Alvarez-Nichol, accompanied by cava and a sample of La Paloma’s signature Spanish dishes. If you don’t already know, La Paloma is the second baby born of Chef Willy Trullas Moreno and Chef Alex Fargas, so you can bank on some tip-top tapas.
The Eat Art menu at Stone Nullah Tavern
Arguably the hottest Hong Kong-based artist of the moment, Bao Ho has teamed up with Wan Chai’s Stone Nullah Tavern, renowned for having one of the best American menus in town, and undeniably the best happy hour. Since winning last year’s live street art jam Secret Walls, Bao has been commissioned to take her unique style of illustration all over the world, and collaborated with the likes of Starbucks, Vans, Lululemon and even Microsoft.
To honour Bao’s creativity and talent, Stone Nullah’s superstar chef Vinny Lauria has cooked up a lip-smacking menu inspired by her work, featuring Scallop Tartare, Butter Poached Spot Prawns and Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake. The Queen of Hong Kong Street Art and the King of American Cooking sound like a match made in food heaven to us!
Xyza Cruz Bacani at Bo Innovation
Although the exact menu and concept of their GAM team-up is still to be announced, we’re pretty sure any event featuring Filipino photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani and “Demon” chef Alvin Leung is going to be mind-blowing.
Cruz Bacani, a former domestic helper in Hong Kong, shot to worldwide fame last year when she won the prestigious Magnum Foundation Human Rights scholarship to New York University. Her work, much of which tells the stories of abused domestic workers, has been featured in the New York Times, CNN and many other international publications.
British-born, Canadian-raised Leung, meanwhile – who holds a casual three Michelin stars at his Hong Kong restaurant Bo Innovation – created his own art form out of food, one which he dubs “X-treme Chinese”. The rock ’n’ roller claims to have done to Chinese food what Picasso did to art, so expect the unexpected!
The Art of Ceramics and Sake with Waka Artisans
If you like liquid lunches as much as Japanese art and culture, you’re going to love this sake and ceramics showdown. Sought-after Japanese potter Shinsaku Nakazono will fashion you a unique take-home sake cup for the event, marking his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Out of this exquisite creation you will taste eight signature sakes from the historic Yorozuya Sake Brewery, which still exists in the very same place it was founded in 1790, where it continues to use water from the springs of Mt. Fuji.
This evening of alcoholic and artistic acclaim will be hosted by PMQ’s Waka Artisans pottery shop, whose founder Takako Kosciuszko first started working with fine ceramics as a chef, during which time she served UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
Everything you need to know about buying in an art fair… but were afraid to ask at La Paloma
If it’s worth teaming up once, it’s worth teaming up twice! On March 15, Puerta Roja founder Adriana Alvarez-Nichol will be returning to La Paloma (to be fair, her gallery is just next door) for another not-to-be-missed collaboration. The Spanish eatery will once again be serving up bubbles and its best bites, but this time Alvarez-Nichol will focus on guiding newbies through the overwhelming and often intimidating world of art buying.
Being the vice-president of the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association and having participated in top international art fairs all over the word, Alvarez-Nichol is uniquely qualified to equip you with her frank and honest tips on what to look for, how to navigate a fair and even how to haggle with art dealers. Not to be missed if you’re still buying art from Stanley Market.
Stay juicy. Like Coconuts Hong Kong.