The Bordeaux Wine Festival – one of the world’s most elaborate festivals dedicated to the appreciation of wine, food and culture – officially opened on 28 June. As this year’s “City of Honour”, Hong Kong is being promoted at the four-day festival with a mega “Hong Kong Pavilion”. Joining the official Hong Kong delegation to Bordeaux are: Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) Mr James Tien, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism) Mr Andrew Wong, and HKTB Executive Director Mr Anthony Lau.
Commenting on the HKTB’s participation in the festival, Mr Tien said: “This is the second time the HKTB has taken part in the highly acclaimed Bordeaux Wine Festival, and we are delighted that Hong Kong has been selected as the ‘City of Honour’ this year. This honour certainly allows us to raise Hong Kong’s profile even more prominently in the European, and even global, market. Ever since the announcement was made at the Bordeaux Vinexpo last June, we pulled out all stops to prepare for this occasion, so that we can offer food lovers from around the world some of the best tastes of Hong Kong, and entice them to visit the city.”
The Hong Kong Pavilion was designed to tie in with Hong Kong’s brand image as “Asia’s World City”. Throughout the festival, in the cultural section of the pavilion, event participants can get a glimpse of four of Hong Kong’s best-kept traditions, namely martial arts, Chinese tea appreciation, Cantonese opera and Chinese fortune-telling. A tea master and a Chinese fortune teller are also stationed there to offer participants first-hand experience with Chinese customs, while Hong Kong band SIU2 performs tunes that combine elements of Chinese and Western music.
In the culinary section, four Michelin-starred and award-winning chefs from Hong Kong – Chef Wai Sing Ho, from The Royal Garden Chinese Restaurant, The Royal Garden; Chef Man Sing Lee, from Man Wah, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong; Chef William Ma, from Canton Room, Gloucester Luk Kwok Hong Kong; and Chef Kwai Pui Mak, from Tim Ho Wan – serve their signature dishes, which can be sampled with recommended Bordeaux wines. The HKTB has also arranged an exclusive luncheon for international media representatives. Featuring special dishes created by the four chefs, the luncheon aims to offer media guests a tantalising taste of Hong Kong, so that they can help spread the word about Hong Kong’s gastronomic excellence.
Outside the Hong Kong Pavilion, Bordeaux visitors can also enjoy other tidbits of Hong Kong, as the paintings of disabled artist Liu Tung Mui have been turned into wine labels on mega wine bottles displayed along the banks of the Garonne River, as part of the festival’s art exhibition.
The 2012 Bordeaux Wine Festival will run until 1 July. When it was last staged two years ago, the event drew over 500,000 participants. Hong Kong’s presence as the guest city marks a milestone in the wine-related partnership between Bordeaux and Hong Kong, which began with a wine co-operation agreement signed in 2008. Among the various collaborative initiatives between the two cities is the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival, first introduced in 2009. Its fourth edition will be staged from 1 to 4 November 2012 along the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade, kick-starting a whole month of food and wine celebrations across the city.
Source = Hong Kong Tourism Board