Sunday, December 30, 2012

TFT Japan Food Team Post: Studies for Food Store Provisions to be Prepared for Emergencies and Natural Disasters

Studies for Food Store Provisions to be Prepared for Emergencies and Natural Disasters
Author: Shoko Ohno, National Certified Dietitian and a pro bono TABLE FOR TWO staff member

I took a practical training class in public health nutrition today, about what constitutes adequate food stock provisions in case of emergency, with a projection of 3-day-continuity, 3 meals a day. The amount of food shown in the above picture is only enough for two adult people, providing each person with 1600kcal a day, nutritional balance, and ease of cooking. Also, after the earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011, it has been found throughout that evacuees have rare chance to have the chance to move around and maintain a health level of physical exercise during disasters, due to the disrupted natural environment and consequent safety issues. The course instructor recommended that evacuees ration their daily allowance by making one meal smaller, preferably consuming less food for supper in comparison to that eaten for breakfast and lunch.

I was quite surprised by today’s practice and presentation. Looking at the amount we need to maintain decent daily life during a disaster, I realize that my stores are too small. By taking this course, I was reminded how empty all the hypermarkets' food sections were during the disaster of March 2011. We would all be well advised to be well prepared, so that we will not have to worry in times of need.

New Partner Announcement: Secret Ingredient!

Happy almost-2013, TFT supporters! 

We're proud to announce that we have an amazing new partner: Secret Ingredient! Secret Ingredient is Hong Kong's first "Ready to Cook" Delivery service. You choose a recipe online and they deliver all the ingredients pre-chopped for you to cook at home in less than 30 minutes. They provide balanced meals for the busy professional, the family, and dinner parties. 

Check out the gorgeous SI-TFT dish: Poached Salmon with Watercress Sauce and a New Baby Potato and Green Bean Salad. Thank you for your partnership and dedication to healthy eating in HK, Secret Ingredient!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Work for TFT HK!

If you are passionate and looking to make a real difference in our world by addressing global food imbalance or world hunger, we have an opportunity for you! We are looking for 1 or 2 part-time Executive Director(s). Please go to our website (the following link) to read details and application instructions:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy 24th Anniversary to Our New TFT Partner, HKCEC!

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre celebrated its 24th anniversary yesterday at Congress Restaurant, and our founders were in attendance! HKCEC is now a TFT partner, and New Shanghai is serving serving TFT meals. Congratulations on your 24th year, HKCEC, and thank you for helping us to alleviate the global food imbalance!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Andrea Oschetti Interviews TFT Co-Founders Katy Yung & Stephanie Tan

by Andrea Oschetti
Author of SCMP Healthy Gourmet
November 13, 2012

In our world of 7 billion people, 1 billion are hungry, while roughly an
equal number suffer from obesity, diabetes, and other health related issues of
overconsumption. Malnutrition is an issue in developed economies such as Hong
Kong as much as it is in developing countries.

It is often assumed that nothing much can be done to remedy the
widespread undernourishment of the world today. However, there is little
basis for such pessimism and for assuming the immutability of hunger and
deprivation. These were the words impressed on me from the Indian Economist
and Nobel Prize Winner Amartya Sen, whom my Master degree dissertation
focused on.   Mr Sen demonstrated that is incorrect to think of hunger as
resulting mainly from the inadequacy of food output and supply.  He stressed the
importance on the political and social arrangements that can influence the ability
of people to acquire food and achieve health.  His work has been seminal in the
development of the Human Development Index (HDI) published annually by the
United Nations Development Program that ranks countries by a combination
of three factors: average income, educational attainment and life expectancy.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is not enough to achieve development; society
needs to invest in the health and education of its citizen, particularly their most
vulnerable ones. In the list of country sorted by GDP, China ranks 2nd behind
the US and ahead of Japan, but China ranks only 101 out of 187 in the Human
Development Index, on par with countries such as Turkmenistan (93rd in GDP
ranking) and Sri Lanka (72nd). The good news is that in the last 20 years the
greatest increase in the HDI happened in Asia, but much is still needed.

On the other side of the coin is the fact that malnutrition is not just
about lack of nutrients, but is also the unbalanced diet and excessive food
intake plaguing rich countries.  Hong Kong University 2010's Behavioral Risk
Factor Survey revealed that 38.7% of people aged 18-64 in Hong Kong were
overweight or obese.  The problem is more prominent in men: half of Hong
Kong's male population (49.35) is overweight. The World Health Organisation
(WHO) calls child obesity as “one of the most serious public health challenges of
the 21st century”.  According to statistics of Hong Kong's Student Health Service
(SHS), the prevalence of overweight and obese children among primary school
students rose from 16.4% in 1998 school year to 22.2% in 2009. Hong Kong eats
unhealthy: 79% of the population failed to meet the recommendation of having
at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Poor and excessive eating
are directly linked to cancer, heart diseases and stroke which accounted for 55%
of registered deaths in Hong Kong in 2008, a staggering increase from the 29% in
1961, based on data from Hong Kong's Department of Health.

In the last two issues on this column I focused on individual who
makes Hong Kong food scene vibrant: first by looking at Margaret Xu's "farm
to table" philosophy and last week at Peggy Chan's entrepreneurship. Today
I would like to introduce to you two Hong Kong ladies who took actions to
address the obesity epidemic in Hong Kong by tying this issue to the global
food imbalance.  Meet Kathy Yung and Stephanie Tan, founders of TFT or Table
For Two (  TFT partners with restaurants and corporate
cafeterias in Hong Kong to serve healthy, nutritionally balanced TFT-branded
meals.  "When buying a TFT-branded meal, one does good for oneself and for
another less fortunate.  We like to say that when you dine at TFT, you never dine
alone." says Stephanie.  A HK$2 charge -the United Nations guideline of the cost
of one nutritious meal in developing countries - is added to the price of these
meals, which is used to provide school lunches in China.

What inspires me of the story of Katy, who both work full time in finance, is their willingness to invest a significant portion of their time for the
cause they believe in, when it is so much simpler to just write a cheque,
particularly in rich and busy Hong Kong.  Both Katy and Stephanie have done
volunteer work in their life but they had the itch to do something more.  "During
the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake I was late in the office at midnight at usual " Katy
told me.  "I thought I wanted to do something more than just donating money to
the Red Cross.  I organized a fundraising event at my office that became an
outpour of generosity from my colleagues, who donated without a second
thought.  It touched me because with a little bit of effort a lot of people chose to do
something.  At the same time Stephanie was thinking along similar lines when they were both
at a brainstorming session on the issue of food waste at Social Venture
Network Hong Kong (, an organization aiming to provide
financial and non-financial support to Social Purpose Organizations or Social
Enterprises.  Stephanie and Katy are both food lovers and that event "was a
serendipity to bring our interest in food to make a difference" says Katy.  A few
weeks later they met with Masa Koguri, the Japanese entrepreneur who started
TFT in Japan and decided to replicate its model in Hong Kong.

Passion moves mountains and Stephanie confesses that they did
not really know what they got themselves into. “If I look back into it, just give it a
try was our mentality.  There were lots of thing that we did not know and had to
learn; from the legal aspect of setting up a non-profit organization to the
challenges of organizing events.  We needed to learn how to understand
nutritional needs so we planned trips to visit schools.  We did not even know how
to write a press release for our first event and had to search it on Google."
Stephanie told me that one of the biggest challenges they faced was to involve
restaurants in the project.  They asked them to give their clients more healthy
option by including a TFT branded dish in their menu.  "Some of the restaurants
told us that dining is an indulgence and people don't want healthy options"
Stephanie says "so they turned us down, others
were keen to work with us. Hong Kong is the perfect place for TFT as everyone
likes to get together around the table and eat, so why not throw eating
consciously and giving to others into the equation?"

Today 7 people volunteer on a daily basis for TFT and since 2011 TFT Hong
Kong has raised funds to provide around 220,000 meals by partnering with
over 60 restaurant and more than 180 food outlets in Hong Kong. "One of the
things that I am proud of is that TFT is a Hong Kong charity addressing a global
issue" Katy says. "Usually western charities come to Asia but this time it is an
organization that started in the East and spread to the rest of the world.”

To support TFT Hong Kong dine at one of the TFT restaurants: http:// or make a donation via wire
transfer HSBC 848 210 100 838

I am a proud supporter of TFT and the following recipe is my TFT sponsored

Marinated Mediterranean Yellow Tail Kingfish with Sicilian Cherry Tomatoes

Serve 4

400g Yellow tail kingfish

100g Sicilian cherry tomatoes

Italian vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Rocket salad

Garlic, lemon, parsley, oranges, salt and pepper

Dip the kingfish fillets quickly into the vinegar and dry them with a kitchen

Cover the fillets with a marinade made of 2/3 of olive oil and 1/3 of the juice
of fresh oranges. Slice one lemon and add it to the marinade together with the
parsley (full leaf) and two garlic cloves.

Let the marinade rest overnight and serve the fish with the cherry tomatoes, a
small slice of orange, salt and pepper.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: Ming Cha

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*: 

Tea and chocolate pairing menu

From Ming Cha:

About MingCha
MingCha, a brand for revitalizing the culture of Chinese tea
MingCha is a Hong Kong brand for evangelizing Premium Chinese Tea. Using simple language and environmental friendly packaging to introduce the finest handcrafted Chinese teas of authentic origin in China, MingCha gains popularity and recognition both locally and internationally. MingCha recently won the Most Outstanding Branding Award in Hong Kong International Tea Fair Competition 2012 and 16th Tao Heung Innovative Entrepreneur Award 2012. In addition, MingCha Tea House ranks also No. 8 of 380 HK attractions at Tripadvisor.
About Vivian Mak 
Vivian Mak, the person behind the brand, is reputable for her innovation and creativity in marrying teas with different delicacies and cuisines (both Chinese and Western), so that people can understand the wonders of Chinese tea with a different perspective.
Tea and Chocolate:
Did you know that both tea and chocolate have flavonoids that are anti-oxidizing and anti-aging; reduces blood pressure and blood cholesterols; reduces stress and gives us a feeling of pleasure? 
Wouldn’t it be interesting to have both tea and chocolate together to achieve double the effect? This specially designed tea pairing menu will lead you to taste both the premium tea and chocolate and find the right match. 
MingCha Premium Chinese Tea 
Green Tea – Jasmine Blossoms from Fuding, Fujian Province scented with fresh jasmine flowers, fresh & sharp. 
White Tea – White Peony Supreme from Zhenghe, Fujian Province, gentle &
Red Tea – Tanyang Golden Rim, Fu-on area, Fujian Province, sweet & fruity 
Dark Chocolate – Madagascar 70% – Criollo Beans, Citrus and distinct cacao 
White Chocolate – White Chocolate Salt & Pepper – Sweet and savory, a magical, cool sensation on the tongue 
Milk Chocolate – Milk Chocolate Sea Salt – Surprising balance between sweet and salty 
Date: November 1, 8, 15, 22 (Thurs) 2012; November 3, 10, 17, 24 (Sat) 2012 
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 pm (1 hr)
Fees: HK$200 per person

12D Wah Ha Factory Building, 8 Shipyard Lane, Taikoo, Hong Kong

Closed on Sundays and public holidays

Telephone: 2520 2116

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: JAR

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*:

John Dory poached in white wine with braised sweet leeks

From the JAR website:

What's in the name? 
JAR stands for “just-a-restaurant”.
It is our answer to the frequently asked question, “What is the concept of your restaurant?”
This response arrives at a time when restaurant menus defy easy geographical categorization, and the line between fine and casual is often blurred. In a move towards simplicity, we decided to dispense with superfluous definitions and go back to basics by describing our concept in the simplest possible terms – “no fuss, no frills – just a restaurant”.
How is it different from 798 unit & co. bistro?
Imagine JAR as another child of 798 unit & co., the culmination of our years of experience but with its own unique temperament. While 798 unit & co. bistros cater to more popular tastes, JAR –with a Central location and westernized audience– allows us to take a bolder approach in terms of food. 
One thing remains across all our outlets, that is, the mission to deliver really good food in a place where every one can eat and drink without needing a special occasion.


2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong

(Parking is available at The Centrium, Arbuthnot Road or Man Yee Bldg, 67 Queen’s Road Central)

Mon-Sat:  noon – midnight
Sun:  10.30am – midnight

Telephone: 2543 8000

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap

Sunday, November 11, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: Cafe Roma

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*:
Baked Eggplant and Zucchini Parmagiana - Baked and gratinated vegetarian lasagna (without pasta)

From the Cafe Roma website:

Cafe Roma is a laid back, all-day hangout nestled at the tip of Ma Wan Tung Wan Beach. It fronts the Park Island apartment complex, located between Lantau Island and Tsing Yi Island. You can enjoy a quietly majestic view of the Kap Shui Mun and Tsing Ma bridges whilst gentle waves lap along the seafront.  
Our menu consists of favourites such as pizza, pasta, burgers, steaks and healthy salads. A full Kids Menu is also available. Ingredients are carefully chosen and thoughtfully prepared in our kitchen to serve familiar flavours that are tasty, comforting and satisfying. The bar offers a selection of wines, beers, creative cocktails and fresh fruit juices.
The ambience is relaxed and chilled out. It's perfect for a quiet meal alone, a romantic date, or a gathering for family and friends. Private events such as cocktails, birthday parties, kids parties, wedding receptions and reunions are also easily accommodated by our team of friendly professionals.  
Enjoy life's simple pleasures of sun, sand and surf.

Live life sweetly. 
Live the good life. 
Livin' La Dolce Vita... 
Welcome to Cafe Roma.

L1 - Shop 7 & 8 Beach Commercial Complex, Park Island, N.T., Hong Kong


3446 1226


Tuesday - Thursday 1:00pm - 11:00pm
Friday 1:00pm - 12:00mn
Saturday 12:00pm - 12:00mn
Sunday 12:00pm - 11:00pm
Monday - CLOSED (Except Public Holiday)

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: Bloom

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*:
Beet Root Risotto - Vialone rice risotto with organic "Bull's Blood" beetroot, roasted with butter and thyme; kaboucha squash; red kuri pumpkin; and ginger cooked with Muscat and candied with demerara sugar, natural brown sugar, and truffle honey

From the Bloom website:

A tribute to old New York, BLOOM is an eclectic, comforting American brasserie inspired by the energies of turn-of the-century markets. After descending an iron staircase in the corner of our bar, LILY, diners enter past a tapestry of vintage grain sacks into a room full of rhythmic yellow and white tiling. A wall of floor-to-ceiling black steel grate inspired by old street scape of Manhattan serves as a back drop to the 4-meter long solid walnut dining bar. A chalkboard full of ‘market’ items like daily flatbreads, handmade pastas, fruit cobblers, and herb and fruit-laced cocktails slides across the bar on a hand crank chain system. Elegant wall-mounted lanterns, industrial light fixtures and warm candles glow throughout the dining room, while pre-War measuring scales, milk jugs, and flower molds highlight the many nooks and crannies of the space. Through a pair of frosted glass-and-wire doors is a unisex bathroom. Here, in the center of the room, a tall stone fountain serves as a communal basin. Just beyond a half-moon shaped booth that bookends the front room is a doubleheight dining space whose sides are lined with reclaimed boat wood and tall wire glass panels. Comprised of some 70 pieces, the 2-story ‘BLOOM’ chandelier hangs just above a circular slab of white marble that adorns the center of the room. 


 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central


2810 6166


Sun-Thu 6pm-11.30pm
Fri & Sat 6pm-2.30am

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: Blue Butcher

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*:

Beet Salad: belgium endive in sweet truffle dressing and smoked beets served with feta cheese

Blue Butcher is a NYC style restaurant & bar bringing our customers an array of meat, carefully hand sourced right down to the farm and the breed from around the World. Cooked and handled with the knowledge and care only found in the best butcheries and restaurants, we pride ourselves on serving food in a style that is often forgotten when eating out. Big plates and big cuts to share, produce and flavours that talk for themselves… our aim is simple, to bring back what cooking and eating is all about. 

Blue Butcher is the only restaurant equipped with a walk-in pink salt dry aging room in Hong Kong. With our philosophy taken from years of history and tradition, we prepare, bake, age, and hang everything in-house using age-old recipes blended with modern techniques. In addition, we support the local farm to table tradition; our Chefs pick the freshest produce and herbs from local organic farms. 

Our cocktail list, also taking the same approach, consists of prohibition influenced cocktails with a meaty molecular twist. Our expert mixologist’s go right down to the bone when handcrafting your drinks. Traditional in-house infused liquors and bitters are poured over extra large cubes of ice and hand selected cut crystal glasses ensuring you have some of the best tasting cocktails in the city. 

Upon entering our restaurant, you feel as though you have just taken a step back in time with antiques and old dark railway decor. Our nostalgic ambiance coupled with our young friendly hipster staff will make you feel like you have just stepped off the F train in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1920s.

Blue Butcher is not just a restaurant, it’s an experience.


108 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong



Mon - Sat: 4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sun: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap

Monday, October 29, 2012

Food Hero Tuesday: TFT Japan Food Team

Note from the Editor: TFT "food heroes" are people who inspire us, and whose visions align with the values that TFT espouses and promotes. This post is from a registered dietician and member of the Table for Two Japan Food Team, Shoko Ohno, who tells us about TFT Japan's latest campaign and provides us with healthy eating tips. TFT Japan Food Team, we at TFT HK salute you!
Table for Two Japan's campaign, "One Million people to share TFT meal" 

"The Importance of weighing yourself and how to cut calories in your daily life"
Author: Shoko Ohno, National Certified Dietitian and a pro bono TABLE FOR TWO staff member

Your weight changes daily. Though such changes may be as small as by gram unit, watching weight every day is a very important measure to maintain your health by/for yourself.

In Japan TABLE FOR TWO's original campaign called "One Million people to share TFT meal" (Hyakuman Nin no Itadakimasu) started on 16th of October this year. This is the fourth year of this annual, month-long campaign. Participants include corporate cafeterias, restaurants and food retailers and the campaign has garnered a great deal of exposure on national TV.

TFT Japan's campaign on TV!

We are now running a brand new event for this campaign. Under my advisement, two men, one in Japan and one in the USA, are now competing to change their eating habits and lose the most weight during the campaign period. The participant in Japan is Mr. Tohru and the participant in NY is Mr. Aki. Both men are over 100kg (approx. 220 pounds). During the competition, the two men share what they eat, how they work out, and how much weight they have lost over our designated Facebook page. Their friends, supporters, and I give comments, encouragement, and advice.  Most of the news feed is in Japanese, but feel free to follow this link and take a look (you must first send a friend request):

So far during the first week, Tohru in Japan has already lost 2kgs (4.4 pounds). In an effort to change his overeating and consumption of unbalanced meals, Tobru weighs himself daily and bravely reports it on FB. In fact, according to OMRON, one of the leaders of measuring instruments in Japan, it is better to weigh oneself not only in the morning but in the evening, too. OMRON says that this practice allows one to see how various eating habits influence one's body; this, in turn, leads to faster weight loss.

For those smart phone users who want to make watching ytheir weight more fun, I would like to recommend this "kawaii (cute)" application called "SIMPLE DIET"! According to a source, this has already won great favor in Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan;

If you are also a good home cook, please find some hints to cut calories of what you eat! Food is not only a way to supply us with nutrition. It is also one of the joys of life. Learning to enjoy eating sensibly and without stress ensures that one will not simply gain weight back after dieting.

Let's Change
Avoid fried foods. Either broil, bake or steam. If you are an enthusiast of dessert, replace a part of it with fresh fruits.
Let's Add
Take in 5 or more servings of vegetables a day. Taking a glass of milk or yogurt in the morning also improves your diet
Let's Subtract
Refrain from eating snacks every day; cut the frequency of snacking to 3 times a week. If you really crave “junk food”, allow yourself a small splurge once a week.

Small changes are very worthwhile, because each change accumulates and each day of small changes accumulates too. The result is better health and weight loss.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Festival of Restaurants Grand Opening Feast!

The Hong Kong Festival of Restaurants (FR) is coming!  The Hong Kong Tourism Board, in partnership with Table for Two, tablemap, OpenRice, Dry Soda, and Italian Cuisine and Wines World Summit 2012 is bringing us all this "celebration of Hong Kong’s international cuisine" (we'll bring you more on the Festival goings-ons in the coming days), that kicks off next Tuesday (October 30th) evening with the FR Grand Opening Feast! Here's more info on what is sure to be an incredible night of food and inspiration from some of the city's premiere chefs: 
Grand Opening Feast, Hong Kong - the inaugural opening event for the Hong Kong Festival of Restaurants. It will serve as the Press Conference for the Festival. This is a cornerstone event for the culinary capital of Asia. Top chefs from Hong Kong and around the world will talk about their vision for the culinary scene in this city. Each chef and restaurant has carefully crafted a dish that has been inspired by our theme colour “GREEN”.
Headlining this event will be Michelin Chefs that operate and own their own restaurants, up and coming young chefs as well as exceptional minds in the food and beverage industry. Each individual present has invested their sweat and blood to achieve their status today. In the culinary world, they are artists – inspired to dazzle their diner’s smell, taste and visuals. It is a rare opportunity to have so many artisans in a single place working their magic.
Tickets range from $800 to $1300 and include the chance to eat food created by many of Hong Kong's all-star chefs! To RSVP and buy tickets email and/or go to the Cityline ticketing site. See below for the featured chefs' (including our TFT Chef Ambassador Andrea Oschetti and TFT partner, Peggy Chan!) bios:

Post from TFT Chef Ambassador Andrea Oschetti: "Dieting Demystified"

Note from the Editor: this article first appeared in the South China Morning Post on 23 October, 2012.


Forget dieting: it slows your metabolism, reduces your lean mass and you accumulate toxins, soon enough you put back what you lost.

Forget counting calories: quality calories are full of nutrients, while poor calories increase our appetite. Cooking techniques are much more important than the calorie count, a chef can heal or poison by the way he cooks. Cook your food simply and quickly.

Forget the complexity of the commercially driven diet industry. The key principles for healthiness are few and simple. The goal of losing weight is already misplaced; you want to lose body fat, not just weight. Don’t relay on scales, look at the mirror. In terms of body aesthetic, toned is beautiful, skinny is not.

There are three simple rules if you aim at losing excess body fat or maintain your ideal weight: eat well, keep the metabolism active and do physical exercise.

On eating well Michel Pollan put it as simple as one’s can: "Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food". Avoid industrial food and deep fried and you are 80% on the right track.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Post from TFT Chef Ambassador Andrea Oschetti: "All You Need is Love"

Note from the Editor: this article first appeared in the South China Morning Post on 9 October, 2012. 


Italians are in love with their food. We are blessed by an abundance of it by mother nature; cooking it with passion is what makes Italian food special and, we believe, our life happier.

"What you do is memorable, when you put your heart in it".  This is what grandma Elda, kept telling me when as a young boy I spent long afternoons in the warmth of her stoves. I remember waiting with anticipation for the week when she prepared the tomato sauce for the whole year. Her home was full of tomato baskets, empty bottles that need to be sterilized in boiling water, and the pots where the precious sauce was cooking for long hours. My help was much in demand and I was excused to have tomato all over my clothes: happy days. I grew up in the kitchen: the afternoons after school at my grandma's, the evenings helping my mom, who despite a long day at work never failed to prepare a fresh dinner for the family, the Sundays with my dad who after church prepared fresh pasta and his roast.

Today I continue my love affair with food as a professional private chef. I go to my client's home, or they come to mine, and I cook for them a four course Italian dinner. Why do people choose me? There are plenty of good Italian restaurant in Hong Kong, trendy and classic. At the level of cooking I am talking about the technique, the best ingredients, the atmosphere of where you eat are taken for granted, or should be. What I believe is the reason of my success is that I bring happiness at the table. I make my client happy by guiding their imagination into a journey, which rotates around an exotic land, Italy, and its culture and traditions. It is an experience, and as such is eventful, surprising and joyful. This is, I believe, what ultimate dining is about.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Meet TFT HK's Newest Chef Ambassador, Andrea Oschetti!

TFT HK is proud to announce that its newest Chef Ambassador is private chef Andrea Oschetti! Andrea is the Cuore Private Chef. He specializes in the cuisine of his native land, Italy, and is dedicated to creating truly memorable food experiences for his clients, educating the public about healthy eating and an active lifestyle, and celebrating food culture and history where ever his extensive travels take him.  He describes the development of his values and attitude regarding food on his website:
 "What you do is memorable, when you put your heart into it"
This is what grandma Elda, kept telling me when as a young boy I spent long afternoons in the warmth of her stoves. I remember waiting with anticipation for the week when she prepared the tomato sauce for the whole year. Her home was full of tomato baskets, empty bottles that need to be sterilized in boiling water, and the pots where the precious sauce was cooking for long hours. My help was much in demand and I was excused to have tomato all over my clothes: happy days. I grew up in the kitchen: the afternoons after school at my grandma's, the evenings helping my mom, who despite a long day at work never failed to prepare a fresh dinner for the family, the sundays with my dad who after church prepared fresh pasta and his roast. 
Italians are in love with their food. We are blessed by an abundance of it by mother nature; cooking it with passion is what makes italian food special and, we believe, our life happier. 
This past Monday, Andrea treated the TFT HK team to an incredible meal at his home. The Flying Winemaker, Eddie McDougall, joined the feast and generously paired his delicious wines perfectly with each dish. Thank you to Andrea and Eddie! We look forward to working with both of you, to help fight the global food imbalance!

Chef Andrea, hard at work

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012": FAO releases report on global hunger

The FAO has released a new hunger report, "The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012", and reveals that global hunger is declining. But 870 million people in the world are still chronically undernourished and Asia is home to the greatest number of the world's hungry people. The FAO has reported the distribution of global hunger as follows:

578 million in Asia and the Pacific
239 million in Sub-Saharan Africa
53 million in Latin America and the Caribbean
37 million in the Near East and North Africa

19 million in developed countries

Given the fact that hunger is on the decline, the report asserts that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of cutting the prevalence of undernourishment in the developing world in half by 2015 is both possible and plausible. This goal can be reached, it further states, through sustained, responsible growth in agricultural output, accompanied by enhanced social protection for those in food and financial insecurity.  The FAO has stated that it must continue to improve its methodology and must find better, more accurate sources of data for its estimates of global hunger.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TFT HK at "Feeding the World: Asia's prospect of plenty"

Last week, members of TFT HK were invited to attend a conference on Asia's role in alleviating the global food imbalance, hosted by The Economist.  During "Feeding The World: Asia's Prospect of Plenty", held at the Harbour Grand Kowloon, "leaders from the food and agribusiness industry, government, academia and advocacy organisations" tackled this pressing and complex topic from a variety of angles.

The conference consisted of four panel discussions, break-out sessions in which participants discussed potential solutions to issues put forth by the panel speakers, and a special interview with Melinda Gates via video link. The first panel introduced the current state of food and nutrition security, globally and in Asia (Speakers: Percy Misika, FAO Representative in China, DPR Korea and Mongolia, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Shenggen Fan, Director-general, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); Anil Jain, Managing Director, Jain Irrigation Systems; Brett Rierson, Director, China Office, UN World Food Programme), the second touched on trade and its relation to food insecurity (Speakers: Kevin Rudd, Member, Australian Parliament for Griffith, Former Prime Minister, Government of Australia; Stan Ryan, Corporate Vice President, Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain Worldwide; Jose Cuesta, Food Price Watch author, Senior Economist, The World Bank;Saurabh Bhat, President and Managing Director, Development and Sustainable Banking, Yes Bank, India; Raoul Oberman, Chairman, McKinsey & Company Indonesia), the third focused on agriculture in Asia (Speakers: Rusman Heriawan, Vice Minister of Agriculture, Government of Indonesia via live video link from Indonesia; Tamarat Wanglee, Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Government of Thailand; Robert Zeigler, Director-general, International Rice Research Institute; Gao Yu, China Country Director, Landesa; Claudio Torres, Regional Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Monsanto; Davor Pisk, Chief Operating Officer, Syngenta), and the fourth honed in upon health and nutrition in Asia (Speakers: Walter Dissinger, President, Nutrition & Health Division, BASF Group; Jeffrey Klein, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Global FoodBanking Network; Umran Beba, President, Asia-Pacific region, PepsiCo; Johann Vollmann, Professor and Soy bean breeder, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna).

Currently, the world produces enough food to feed all of its 7 billion people. Yet, as we so often state, 1 billion people are currently malnourished, undernourished, and/or starving. The earth's population is expected to swell to 9 billion people by 2050, and experts estimate that we must double our current food production in order to meet the projected demand. Asia as a whole is presently a net importer of food, and yet over half of the undernourished people in the world are from the Asia Pacific region; thus, as John Parker, Globalisation Editor of The Economist, stated during the conference's opening, "The future demand for food must be met by Asia itself."

The panel members argued that production must be ramped up to meet Asia's and the world's demands for food in the coming years, but warned that the use of new agricultural technology and biotechnology must be used with sustainability and environmental health in mind (China is currently using more fertilizer and pesticides than any other country in the world). They urged the world's governments to start prioritizing global food security, to invest more into agricultural research, to address issues of price signaling (several argued that food is too cheap in the developed world, and that its price should and must reflect social impacts such as carbon emissions), to provide support for smallholder farmers (who make up the largest percentage of the world's farmers), and to attend to issues surrounding land rights and food waste (in developing countries, food waste largely occurs post-harvest, because of inadequate storage facilities; in the developed world, most food waste is produced by consumers, after purchase). The issue of food security is incredibly complex: we have the technology to increase food production, but it is often too expensive for, and thus inaccessible to, those who need it most.  In addition, the use of such technology (especially genetically modified organisms and chemical inputs) may have long-term costs that outweigh the benefits of their use. Moreover, prosperity and adequate calories may not mean optimal health – many in the developed world suffer from nutritional insufficiencies; obesity; and so-called “lifestyle” diseases, related to diet.

Global food security is a complicated, multi-faceted issue—one that often feels too big for us to address as individuals or even as organizations. Though we cannot easily and simply “solve” the global food imbalance, we can make a difference, by engaging in dialogue and continuing to seek solutions; raising awareness; and taking small steps toward healthier, more balanced food systems. Many thanks to The Economist, for creating an opportunity to discuss global food security, for inviting TFT HK to join the conversation, and for donating to our organization.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More from Sunday's "Garden of Lovely"

If you're interested in the checking out the online reaction to Sunday's "Garden of Media", please check out the Twitter chatter (#SMWHKLovely) as well as Bonza Pie Head Honcho Bess Hepworth's micro-documents of the event on Viddy. Here a few more photos from the day:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

TFT HK Monday Update: "Garden of Lovely"

 Yesterday's "Garden of Lovely" was a resounding success, with community members coming out from all over Hong Kong to create a spontaneous, playful art "garden", listen to acoustic music, learn about growing food in the city, and hear about how various groups are helping lead the way to a more  sustainable, environmentally-conscious Hong Kong.  During the "Garden Enviro-Symposium", representatives from TFT HK, Bonza Pie, Friends of the Earth, urban farming organization Time to Grow, Ocean Recovery Alliance, and Clean Air Network were asked about what currently inspires (Hong Kong people's apparent readiness for change, and enthusiasm for new sustainability initiatives) and frustrates (lack of infrastructure for recycling, waste of food and non-edible materials, excess of air conditioning in malls, unhealthily polluted ocean waters) them about Hong Kong, and gave insight into the ways that each of their organizations are celebrating and supporting a sustainable future.  Here are a couple of photos from this inspiring and whimsical event! Thanks to Localiiz and Bonza Pie for inviting TFT to take part!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Garden of Lovely": TFT HK's Creative Agencies Design Showcase (CADS) Submission

The creators of the "Garden of Lovely" have asked TFT HK to be part of an online competition with several creative agencies called CADS (Creative Agencies Design Showcase). All participants were asked to design a plasticine creation, to be judged in the online and displayed in Sunday's "garden". The competition will soon be up on Localiiz, where you can view submissions from all 8 teams and vote for your favorite!

Our TFT HK submission was, constructed with a dim sum basket and puff clay, was created by Discovery College student, Alexandra Dupey. Thank you for your beautiful piece, Alexandra!!

"Garden of Lovely" kicks off HK Social Media Week this Sunday!

This Sunday marks the beginning of Social Media Week (SMW)! This year, SMW spans 14 cities, and those cities are putting on nearly 1,000 events to celebrate and share knowledge of all things social media. Hong Kong's Social Media Week is packed with fun, edifying events, and one of the more exciting and unconventional ones will take place this Sunday. Hosted by Bonza Pie, Localiiz at Amical Coffee (1 Sun Street, Wan Chai), the "Garden of Lovely"will grow from 2pm to 8pm on the 23rd. This pop-up "garden" of arts and crafts contributed by local artists and community members (including YOU!) will be accompanied by discussions of environment, the arts, and urban space utilization. TFT HK will be there, chatting about global food imbalance and its relationship to the environment. See below for more information, from the HK SMW site, and links:

On Sunday 23 September from 2pm to 8pm, an immersive and unexpected moment in Hong Kong will emerge beautifully from the concrete jungle in the form of a giant community garden in Wanchai. In this free event, part of Social Media Week Hong Kong, members of the public are invited to create and plant items (and ideas) in a new pop-up laneway garden. This accessible, spontaneous public project aims to bring Hong Kong people closer together to consider the environment they live in.
 The garden will be loaded with art and craft items, including tonnes of plasticine, for anyone who wants to play and contribute. Events in the garden will include local visual artists and street artists onsite, creating works on the spot; two symposiums looking at the way we as environmentalists and artists can change Hong Kong’s urban landscape; urban rooftop gardening workshops, and social media interaction linking people in real and virtual time. The event will culminate in an evening of interactive art and sounds with Lipgloss Media presents… The Observations of Mrs Retallack. Can music help plants to grow? They aim to find out!

Hashtag: #SMWHKlovely

Monday, September 17, 2012

Food Hero Tuesday: Chef Gregoire Michaud

Note from the Editor: Every Tuesday, TFT HK will bring you a post or article from/about one of our local or global food heroes. These are people who inspire us, and whose visions align with the values that TFT espouses and promotes. This week, we bring you a post from Chef Gregoire Michauda serious locavore and sustainable food systems advocate who also happens to be the pastry chef at the Four Seasons, an active blogger, and an award-winning cookbook author. In today's post, our food hero recalls a recent dinner he and his fellow Four Seasons chefs created from Zen Organic's produce. Chef Michaud, we at TFT HK salute you!

Locavore feast

Zen Organic figs

"Celebrating Hong Kong's very own food"
By Gregoire Michaud

Could this become a tradition? Could this even become a festival where local food would be praised? I can actually picture the Hong Kong Harvest Festival happening every year during the fall!

No less than ALL the chefs from our kitchens walked the stunning garden alleys 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 walked around in the most amazing supermarket ever? INSANE!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Local Buzz: Hunger strikes and long life in Hong Kong news

Here are a few recent Hong Kong food and hunger tidbits:

On Sunday, three Hong Kong college students ended their 56-hour hunger strike in protest of the proposed instatement of national curriculum:

Men and women of Hong Kong now have the longest life expectancy in the world, and some assert that this is due to Hong Kongers' consumption of traditional Cantonese foods (many of which are steamed) and antioxidant-rich tea; their engagement with work well into their golden years; and even their enjoyment of mahjong, a social activity that also stimulates the brain and encourages memory retention:

Global Food News: Plumpy'Nut to the Rescue

U.S. nonprofit Edesia, which directs high calorie foods to severely underfed children in the developing world, and food manufacturer Nutriset hope that Plumpy'Nut is the answer to global hunger.  Plumpy'Nut is a peanut paste that contains 500 calories per serving, and requires neither preparation nor refrigeration.  UNICEF has reported that it will buy 28,000 metric tons of Plumpy'Nut this year (up from 27,000 metric tons last year) and 32,000 metric tons for 2013. The organization is preparing for  a coming period of food insecurity, due in large part to this year's droughts in the US and UK. The UN, in light of the droughts and consequently poor crop yields,  has warned of food insecurity and food price spikes and has asked the US to suspend ethanol production in an effort to stave off a corn shortage.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Food Hero Tuesday: a quote from Joel Salatin

Note from the Editor: Every Tuesday, TFT HK will bring you a post or article from/about one of our local or global food heroes. These are people who inspire us, and whose visions align with the values that TFT espouses and promotes. This week, we bring you a quote from farmer and local, sustainable food advocate Joel Salatin. Salatin, who appears in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, and in the documentaries Food, Inc. and Fresh, owns and operates Polyface Farms in Swoope Virginia, where he practices organic agriculture and ethical animal husbandry (his animals are raised without harmful chemicals, and he raises them under conditions more like those they would have experienced before domestication). He is also a frequent lecturer, and the author of numerous books, including Folks, This Ain't Normal, the work from which this quote was taken. Joel, we at TFT HK salute you!

“This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy. To eat with reckless abandon, without conscience, without knowledge; folks, this ain't normal.”

― Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World

Sunday, September 2, 2012

TFT HK Monday Update: TFT HSDE Wrap-up!

Thank you to all of our partners and supporters for your participation in the TFT Healthy Summer Dining Experience! To our contest winners: Please pick up your prize at the partner restaurant at which your photograph was taken after September 10th and before September 30th. Congratulations!

Winner's Circle

Florence Wong, who has won dinner for two at Mana!

Joan Shang, who has won a Veggie SF appetizer!

Gary Yung, who has won a voucher to Flying Winemaker WineSkool!

Christine Cappio, who has won a Teakha tea set for two!

Esther Chan, who has won a 1-day Genie cleanse!

Nina Rossiter, who has won dinner for two at Light!

Joan Lee, who has won a Grassroots Pantry class/workshop voucher!

Thank you again, everyone!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Global Food News: World Water Week 2012

This Monday marked the opening of the 2012 World Water Week (WWW), held in Stockholm. The  Sweden International Water Institute (SIWI) holds this conference each year, and the theme for 2012 is "Water and Food Security". The WWW seminars for this year focus on topics that include innovations in water conservation and sustainable use, the impact of agricultural practices on drinking water, and the need to bring environmentally sound irrigation technologies to smallholder farmers.

On the opening day of of the conference, the FAO introduced a water management framework, a document that sets out guidelines created to "encourage practices that will improve water management, such as modernizing irrigation schemes, recycling and re-using wastewater, implementing mechanisms to reduce water pollution, and storing rainwater at farms to reduce drought-related risks, among others." The report states,
Of all economic sectors, agriculture is the sector where water scarcity has the greatest relevance. Currently, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals, and more than 90 percent of its consumptive use. Under the joint pressure of population growth and changes in dietary habits, food consumption is increasing in most regions of the world. It is expected that by 2050 an additional 1 billion tonne of cereals and 200 million tonne of meat will need to be produced annually to satisfy growing food demand.
The FAO further stated that "drought in some parts of the world has hurt global grain production and contributed to a spike in food prices nearly every other year since 2007, making it essential to focus on the way water is managed throughout the entire food chain," the validity of which is evidenced by the current persistance of the drought in the U.S., and the consequent worries about grain shortages and food price hikes.

Healthy Summer Dining Experience: Grassroots Pantry

Today is the last day that we'll be highlighting our Healthy Summer Dining Experience partners, the TFT dishes they are featuring for the month of August, and the prizes YOU can win by entering our HSDE (contest)! Don't forget to EAT (a delicious TFT HDSE meal/drink), TAKE (a picture of the item and upload it to our Facebook page), and SHARE (the photo with friends and ask them to "like" it), so you can WIN (one of nine incredible prizes, one for the most "liked" photo taken at each HDSE partner restaurant)!

Grassroots Pantry, snugly nestled on Fuk Sau Lane (between Western Street and Pok Fu Lam Road on Third Street) in Sai Ying Pun, is an all-day cafe that serves delicious plant-based edibles and hosts edifying cooking classes and workshops. This cozy nook, the creation of chef Peggy Chan, uses local, organic produce, and is a staunch advocate of sustainable, conscientious eating.

The Grassroots Pantry team is offering the quinoa salad as its HDSE dish ($90). The quinoa and greens in this dish are dressed with orange hazelnut dressing and garnished with dried fruits and nuts. If you take the most "liked" picture of this salad, you could win a voucher for a GP class or workshop! Classes this fall include an Asian cooking class with Chef Peggy's mother, Kitty, a homestyle Indian cooking class with Spice Box Organics owner and holistic health counselor Punam Chopra, and a raw foods class with Rawthentic chef, Priscilla Soligo! Thanks to everyone at Grassroots Pantry!

The Grassroots Pantry quinoa salad, with hand-drawn menus