The second edition of Tatler Dining's signature food festival will take place on November 25-27

Held for the first time atop The Peak in November 2019, Off Menu was a never-before-seen gathering of local and international chefs in celebration of Hong Kong's rich gastronomy. Inspired by the concept of “off menu” dishes, the food festival was all about the unexpected and the exclusive, with a dozen talented chefs collaborating on culinary creations that were never available, and never will be available, at their respective restaurants. The Off Menu festival has since been held in Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia, each time bringing together local and international chefs for a meeting of great culinary minds.

Now, after a three-year hiatus in Hong Kong, Off Menu is getting back to business this November 25-27, marking our city's reopening with an all-star lineup of chefs who will be flying in from across the world to partake in the collaborative ethos of the food festival. 

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This year, Off Menu can be found in the heart of Hong Kong, taking place at the Central Harbourfront within the BAM Festival 2022 hosted by Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong. Pairing trailblazing Hong Kong chefs with their international counterparts from around the world, Off Menu’s chef collaborations will be creating original dishes inspired by the local culinary landscape that can’t be found at their respective establishments.

Get to know our five chef pairings, as well as two pastry chefs and four Rising Star chefs below.

Tickets are now on sale for the event, held between 25 and 27 November, online here.

Our thanks go to Centurion and Mercedes-Benz for their support in hosting this event.

The chef collaborations

Tom Brown x Nathan Green

Raised in the seaside county of Cornwall, England, Tom Brown has built his reputation as “London’s craftsman of the sea” on the bounty of oceans surrounding the British Isles. Tom began as a kitchen porter at his local pub in Cornwall, but his upward trajectory began with the role of chef de partie at the St Enodoc Hotel. He soon became the protégé to acclaimed Cornish chef Nathan Outlaw upon joining Michelin-starred The Capital, before becoming a finalist in Great British Menu. In 2018, Tom opened his own restaurant, Cornerstone, where he prides himself on the brilliance and simplicity of British seafood.

Tom will be collaborating with Hong Kong's chef Nate Green. A native of Birmingham, England, Nate spent over a decade working in some of London's most loved restaurants before moving to Hong Kong in 2014 to run Jason Atherton’s buzzy tapas bar 22 Ships. He later opened his first restaurant Rhoda with restaurateur Yenn Wong, which featured nose-to-tail cuisine and live-fire cooking at the fore. Following the closure of Rhoda in 2018, Nate moved to Rosewood Hong Kong to open Southern-style steakhouse Henry, before partnering with Umberto Bombana in 2021 to open his modern British steakhouse, Rex Wine & Grill. Nate’s latest opening with Bombana is Kilo Steakhouse, which translates his experiences into the tradition of American steakhouses.

Raymond Tham x Cary Docherty

Raymond Tham has always known that he would become a chef since the age of seven. While his mother didn’t wish this line of work for him, she taught him to cook so he could care for himself while studying abroad. A graduate of Westminster Kingsway College in London, Raymond garnered experience at restaurants in London and Bermuda before returning to Kuala Lumpur where he opened contemporary European restaurant Skillet, followed by modern Malaysian eatery Beta KL, and most recently Burnt & Co. Raymond’s cooking reflects the diversity and richness of Malaysian cuisine, taking diners on a journey through different regions of Malaysia while injecting modern flavours and techniques. He has also appeared in several of Tatler Malaysia’s dining events, including Off Menu and In The Mood For Food.

Raymond has partnered with chef Cary Docherty of Salisterra. Drawing from more than 20 years of culinary experience, the Hong Kong-based Canadian is known for his culinary trademark of refined but relaxed gastronomy. He cut his teeth in London at the likes of one-Michelin-starred Maze and three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, as well as beloved Chelsea bistro Foxtrot Oscar and Jason Atherton's restaurant and wine bar, Little Social. In Hong Kong, he has helmed the culinary programme at Gough's on Gough and Lobster Bar & Grill, while today he infuses contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with Japanese influences at Salisterra in The Upper House.

Lucho Martinez x Matt Abergel

Originally from Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, chef Lucho Martinez spent part of his childhood in Nashville, Tennessee, before venturing into his first formal kitchen job at the young age of 14. He went on to join Jorge Vallejo’s acclaimed Quintonil, an pioneer in Mexico City’s dining scene, followed by a stint at chef Eduardo García’s Maximo Bistro in Colonia Roma, which instilled in him a passion for revitalising traditional Mexican cuisine with a range of innovative techniques. Today, at his own restaurant Em in Mexico City, Lucho draws on his unique experiences and singular creativity to craft a space for the meeting of Mexican cuisine with international influences.

Lucho's culinary partner in crime will be Matt Abergel. Beginning his career in Japanese kitchens throughout Canada, Matt’s big break came when he moved to New York City to work under Masayoshi Takayama at Masa. Upon his subsequent move to Hong Kong in 2009, Matt was inspired by the food culture of the city to open his own restaurant. In 2011, he opened Yardbird Hong Kong with business partner Lindsay Jang, before opening their second restaurant, Ronin, in 2013. In 2018, Matt's first book, Chicken and Charcoal, was published by Phaidon, which reveals the stories behind how the restaurant started, how it grew, and where it is today. In 2021, ten years after opening, Yardbird Hong Kong received its first Michelin star.

Jimmy Lim x Adam Wong

Growing up in the kitchen of his father’s hawker stall, Singaporean native Jimmy Lim’s destiny was sealed from an early age. After a teenage fascination with a career in basketball was cut short by a serious knee injury, Jimmy enrolled himself in culinary school, where he subsequently won titles for his school—as well as Singapore—in international youth competitions. His career has been illustrious, with years of immersion in the kitchens of The French Laundry, Per Se, Geranium and Noma. In 2017, Jimmy opened JL Studio in Taichung City, Taiwan, becoming the first restaurant to serve modern Singaporean cuisine overseas. There, he applies his knowledge of fine gastronomy to reinventing Singaporean gastronomy for the modern day.

At Off Menu, Jimmy will be cooking alongside Adam Wong, the executive chef of Forum Restaurant, a three-Michelin-starred fine dining Cantonese restaurant located in Causeway Bay. Wong is the apprentice of the ‘King of Abalone’ Yeung Koon-Yat, who co-founded the restaurant in 1977. Having joined Forum in 1992, Wong has continued the legacy of the famed Ah Yat Abalone, the restaurant’s signature abalone dish that involves braising a Yoshihama abalone until perfection, whereupon it’s served with goose web. Adam is also the founder-president of the Chinese Culinary Institute Master Chef Chapter, and a member of the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs.

Morgan Mcglone x Rafa Gil

Starting out at culinary institutions in Sydney, Los Angeles and New York, New Zealand-born chef Morgan Mcglone opened lauded French bistro Flinders Inn in 2009, before moving back to the States to work for Sean Brock at Husk’s locations South Carolina and Nashville. Inspired by his time there, Morgan returned again to Australia to open Belles Hot Chicken in Melbourne’s Fitzroy in 2014, and adjoining wine bar, Bar Clarine, the following year. Belles now has locations across Australia in Barangaroo, Melbourne and Sydney. Morgan’s latest venture came in December 2020, when he opened Sunday Potts Point in Sydney as an homage to rotisserie chicken. This December, Morgan is also due to open a new wine bar called Bar Copains as a tribute to his friendship with business partner Nathan Sasi.

Sharing the kitchen with Morgan is Rafa Gil, executive chef of La Rambla. After honing his culinary skills working with Michelin-starred Spanish chefs such as Martín Berasategui, Carles Abellan and the late Santi Santamaria, Rafa Gil uprooted his life in 2012 to help open Catalunya in Singapore and Hong Kong. Since then, he has thrived in Asia’s fast-paced dining industry, spearheading kitchens at various hotels including The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, Keraton at The Plaza, A Luxury Collection in Jakarta, and the W Hotel Hong Kong. Gil has also brought home a semi-finalist finish alongside teammate, chef Esdras Ochoa, in Netflix’s hit show The Final Table. At La Rambla, he serves Asian-infused Spanish classics with Basque and Catalan culinary expertise and flair.

Pastry chefs

Joanna Yuen

While Joanna Yuen began her career in advertising, her true passion has always been in pastry. In 2015, she took the leap as a self-trained wedding cake designer, before formally entering the professional kitchen as commis chef at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental the following year. Joanna’s rise continued with her role as head pastry chef of Nobu InterContinental Hong Kong in 2017, and in 2020, she was recruited as head pastry chef of Andō from 2020 to 2022, during which her signature desserts, Wagashi and Hibiki, earned her two Best Pastry Chef titles in the Tatler Dining Awards in 2020 and 2022.

Smita Grosse, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

Smita Grosse grew up on the island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean in a household where her father loved to experiment while cooking. While studying at the Hotel School of Mauritius, Grosse spent two years interning at One&Only Le Saint Géran, after which she was immediately snapped up as a pastry commis. From there, Grosse rose through the pastry chef ranks at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Galaxy Macau and Fairmont Singapore before becoming executive pastry chef in 2017 at Hotel Indonesia Kempinksi Jakarta. As the first female executive pastry chef for Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Smita Grosse helms a team of 30 and is responsible for the breads, pastries and desserts for all 11 of the hotel’s restaurants and bars as well as some 200 events held every month within and outside the hotel.

Rising Stars

Felix Cheung, FatCheFelix

Taiwanese-born chef Felix Cheung has gained a cult following over the years, with sell-out pop-up dinners held at Test Kitchen and Good Good Grocery—at the former, he showcased his hand-rolled pasta, while at the latter he crafted a sophisticated vegetarian tasting menu in the tiny Sai Ying Pun cafe. Last year, Felix showcased his family heritage on his mother’s side with a three-night menu at Tatler Dining Kitchen, where all the ingredients were sourced from Hong Kong’s Lau Fau Shan area. His next venture will be a solo restaurant project in Melbourne to be opened in fall 2023.

Jacob Zuidervliet, Belon

Joining Belon five years ago, chef de cuisine Jacob Zuidervliet has moved up the ranks to work closely with head chef Matthew Kirkley, shaping the restaurant into its most current iteration. He is the very first recipient of the Black Sheep Restaurants Trailblazers series. Outside of the kitchen, you’ll find Jacob practising on his guitar or dedicating himself to a jujitsu routine.

William Lau, Whisk

Having begun his cooking career at the tender age of 16, William Lau has worked at some of the most respected kitchens in the city, including the likes of Arbor, Pierre at Mandarin Oriental, and Amber. He now helms the culinary programme at Whisk, where he and a small team meticulously present a menu of modern European fine dining with Japanese influences.

Marco A. Livoti, Rosita

F&B is in Marco Livoti’s blood, having grown up watching his father run a chain of pizzerias in Italy. His career as a chef began when he chose to pursue formal training at the ALMA International School of Italian Cuisine, after which he worked at Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe, including London’s Sketch, El Coq in Venice, and Milan’s Seta and Alice. In 2019, Marco moved to Hong Kong to become the executive chef of Sake Central, before launching cult dessert brand Holy Cannoli at the end of 2020. Marco is currently developing a full restaurant concept called Rosita with chefs Ricardo Chaneton and Agustin Balbi, due to open in December 2022.

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