For what seems like forever, chefs and writers have had an uneasy alliance towards one another. Chefs put forward their best “work” – their dishes – while journalists either gush over them in reverent tones or criticize each offering mercilessly.
That’s why a new initiative by Hong Kong food and beverage consultancy firm Forks and Spoons is so brilliant. They’ve come up with “The Great Pizza Bake Off”, starting on August 21st at the Mercato restaurant in Lan Kwai Fong, which will pit five diverse chefs in the city against five writers and editors to see who can create the best pizza.
Over the course of 10 weeks, one chef will be pitted against one writer or editor. Their respective pizzas will both be on the menu at Mercato Hong Kong for two weeks, with prices ranging from HK$180-300, depending on the recipe and ingredients. And what casual foodie wouldn’t want to see how Mercato Hong Kong Head Chef Anthony Burd fares against Tiffany Chan, an Associate Editor at Crave Magazine? Or, in what could be the most interesting “competition” – how an owner of a sushi restaurant (Satoru Mugokawa, Owner and Executive Chef of Sushi Kuu) is going to do against a dining editor at a high society magazine (Wilson Fok, Dining Editor at Hong Kong Tatler)? For those who like pizza, and like a little friendly competition, this could make for regular repeat visits to Mercato Hong Kong.
Which is obviously what Forks and Spoons had in mind when they came up with the concept. After all, what pizza lover doesn’t want to try a Char Siu & Egg Pizza (September 5th-19th), or a Pepperoni & Spicy Honey Pizza (September 20th-October 4th). But there may be some boundaries that may be too far for a pizza lover to cross – and the New York Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagel Classic Morphs into Italian Pizza (October 23rd-November 6th) may be one of them.
Let the eating commence. Here’s a look at who will be up against who in the coming weeks.
21 August – 4 Sept
Anthony Burd – Head Chef of Mercato Hong Kong
Confit Pork Belly, Wood Oven Roasted Pineapple, Three cheese, Pickled Shallots and Herbs
Tiffany Chan – Associate Editor of Crave Magazine
Salted Egg Carbonara Pizza
Pancetta, Parmigiano, Salted Duck Egg Cream
5 – 19 Sept
Chris Grare – Executive Chef of Lily & Bloom
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Gorgonzola, Pickled Celery, Duck Egg
Janice Leung Hayes – Independent Food Writer and Social Entrepreneur
Char Siu & Egg Pizza
Red Onion, Hoisin Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Char Siu, Egg, Spring Onion, Oil
20 Sept – 4 Oct
May Chow – Owner & Executive Chef of Happy Paradise
Mapo Burrata Pizza
Mapo Ragout, Burrata, Sichuan Oil
Michael Connelly – Editor in Chief of Lifestyle Asia
Pepperoni & Spicy Honey Pizza
Pepperoni, Spicy Honey, Mozzarella, Pecorino Romano, Pickled Chilli
5 – 19 Oct
Satoru Mugokawa – Owner / Executive Chef of Sushi Kuu
Mentaiko Mayo Seafood Pizza
Shrimp, Scallop, Squid, Cheddar, Tomato Sauce, Japanese Mayo, Nori Dried Seaweed, Ohba Leaf, Mentaiko Chili Cod Roe
Wilson Fok – Dining Editor of Hong Kong Tatler Dining
Bacon Jam Pizza
Bacon Jam, Fior di Latte, Mushrooms, Cracked Egg
23 Oct – 6 Nov
Erik Idos – Owner and Executive Chef of Chino
Chorizo and Charred Pineapple Pizza
Chorizo, Charred Pineapple, Pickled Jalapeño, Chipotle Tomato Sauce and Cotija
Andrew Dembina – Managing Editor of Prestige Hong Kong
New York Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel Classic Morphs into Italian Pizza
Smoked Salmon, Pecorino, Stracciatella, Capers & Arugula
MERCATO HONG KONG is located at 8/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central