Hong Kong Harvest Day & Figs Special

September 18th, 2012 | Posted by greg in Classes & Demo | Daily life...

Could this become a tradition? Could this become a festival where local food would be praised?

I can picture the Hong Kong Harvest Festival happening every year during the fall!

Nothing less than ALL the chefs from our kitchens walked the stunning gardens of Zen Organic Farm a few weeks ago. Our mission? To harvest figs AND every other fruits and vegetable we felt would fit our dinner on that day! And you know how it went when a star studded crew of chefs walk in the most amazing supermarket ever? INSANE!

Pitaya on older plants are giving fruits

Left and right, we had tons to choose from, lettuce, eggplant, corn, edible flowers, etc… and after that, trust me, the dinner was plentiful.  But before we could indulge on our cooking, we had to do a bit of work; and first we went to see how the Pitayas were doing since we’ve planted them a few months ago. They had grown so much! But not quite yet to the level where they produce fruits. Then we walked around to see how the coffee plants were doing and it was very exciting to see the beans starting to ripen. It was the first time for me to crack open a fresh coffee berry and find the beans inside, of course, it has very little flavor until it gets processed and roasted. Nonetheless, it was great and it was my first Hong Kong grown coffee bean experience, anyone had witnessed coffee grown in Hong Kong before?

Hong Kong grown coffee bean!

On the way back to the kitchen, we came across a beautiful baby.

A wood fire oven, properly built from scratch that will be operational soon. Now, between the oven and me it was love at first sight. The oven needs finishing touches and a long drying and heating process in order to make it ready to use. Once we have the green light, we will have tons of fun (and good food!) The oven not being finished, we brought back a huge tray of fig-bacon-thyme foccacia baked at the hotel: gone within minutes!

Fig, bacon and thyme focaccia

While our Michelin stared chefs were taking care of their BBQ, I prepared the dessert.

The figs from Zen Organic Farm are very sweet, but when I say sweet, think about honey-like sweet! So it made my life even easier: I packed a lot of figs in a cast iron pan, just cut in halves, added a simple cinnamon crumble on top and baked it for 45 minutes. Once baked, I added some buttered roasted almonds on top and we enjoyed the dish with an oozing vanilla sauce. The figs naturally release their juice and sugar to form smooth compote, but also, the skin of these figs is so thin that there is no need for peeling them, unlike much other kind of figs.

Preparing the crumble

Baked with the almonds…

…and served!

Simple, yet delicious. No fuss, no complexity and mostly: wholesome local produces!

The experience we had was fabulous; however, we were just a bunch of us enjoying all the good food. So, to share it with everyone, we came up with a fig menu at our Lounge. For that special menu, I came up with great fig fritters served with a refreshing frozen lemon yogurt and a few trimmings. Again, once warmed in the fritter, the figs release their natural sweet juice and it makes it so easy to get addicted!


The above post was featured on Table for Two Hong Kong – An awesome charity to support!

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