Definitely one of the more exciting Hong Kong restaurant collaborations of the year is the newly launched #ChefVSPan weekend brunch series at La Paloma. Each month, a different guest chef is called to take on the gigantic resident paella pan at La Paloma (primarily used for the restaurant's popular all-you-can-eat paella weekend brunches), and it's almost impossible for the chefs of varying culinary backgrounds to produce something boring with it! I attended the second round of Chef VS Pan last Sunday featuring Anthony Burd, Chef de Cuisine of Mercato by Jean-Georges, and suffice to say, the result was tremendous (and not just in size ;)).
With Chef Anthony's background in Italian cuisine, he of course went for something classically Italian - the seafood risotto - a dish that isn't the easiest to execute on a pan that produces enough servings for an entire full-house restaurant at a time. As a huge fan of risotto, I was obviously stoked on this particular Chef VS Pan round - because what could possibly be better than a meeting of two of my favourite European cuisines for my favourite meal of the day?!
Also, if you were wondering, the next round will take place on 11 June with Chef Yong of modern Korean Bib N Hops - and I'm just as excited to see what he's got planned next for the big pan.
The Chef VS Pan campaign basically combines dishes from X restaurant with La Paloma's brunch, meaning the appetisers served to the table are also a combination of La Paloma's regular brunch tapas and X restaurant's selected bites. The guest chef working the big pan will then serve up the main, and desserts are likewise a combo of both restaurants' signatures.
From Mercato, we enjoyed stunning small dishes including the intensely refreshing Housemade Ricotta with Strawberries, Spicy Tuna Tartare with fresh tuna, avocado and crunchy rice puffs, crisp Calamari, some incredible Meatballs in a savoury tomato sauce, and even a mini version of the famous truffle & egg wood-fired pizza.
The Mercato dishes were combined with Chef Jose Cotes of La Paloma's signature Spanish tapas such as Patatas Bravas (spicy potatoes), Explosive Smoked Salmon with Chipotle Cream, Bacon Con Queso explosive air baguettes, and Squid Ink Croquettes.
After much anticipation and mouthwatering aromas wafting over to our table from the pan in the middle of the restaurant, the final product by Chef Tony was a delicious amalgamation of arborio rice, lobster stock, fresh seafood, tomatoes, lemon slices, olive oil and plenty of colourful herbs. I think it's safe to say the Chef won this round!
COMING UP FOR #CHEFVSPAN...
Chef Yong Soo Do, BiB n Hops
Chef Stefano Rossi, Pirata
Chef Petrous Moldovan, Cocotte
Chef Alfredo Rodriguez, The Optimist
...More TBD! Stay tuned!
Restaurant Details - La Paloma
Address: 2/f, 189 Queen's Rd W, Sai Ying Pun
Tel: +852 2291 6161
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