Firstly, a few facts:
•Hong Kong is 5 hours away from half the world’s population.
• 7.2 million people live in Hong Kong, with virtually full employment.
• The former Portuguese colony Macau is the place where 29.3 million people (60% mainland Chinese, 40% SE Asians) went to gamble last year, generating in 6 weeks what Las Vegas generates in a year. It has the world’s largest artificial wave beach and the world’s second largest hotel, The Venetian. Croupiers are trained to deal 61 hands of Blackjack an hour resulting in a turnover of HK$130m per person per hour. High rollers can play for 24 hours at a stretch, refreshing themselves at the table with only the croupier for company.
I was lucky enough to visit Hong Kong on a Britain is GREAT trade mission organised by UKTI in March. It comprised meetings with buyers, a lunch and dinner cooked by Jason Atherton, a cocktail event and fashion show at the British Embassy, a day in Macau and a series of presentations by market experts. I also managed to fit in a meeting with charming Culinary Director Richard Ekkebus at Amber, a visit to a temple in Kowloon, a trip up the Peak, some linen shopping in Stanley Market and an evening’s horse racing (I lost every single bet) in Happy Valley. And I got some orders.
I’ve made lasting friendships with the owners of Musks Sausages, Giffords Wines and Rokill, and got to know many others.
It just goes to show how salt seasons more than just the food we eat.