Last night (1 November), the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade, lying next to Hong Kong’s famous Victoria Harbour, came alive and was bustling with activity, as the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) launched the fourth edition of the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival 2012, title-sponsored by American Express International, Inc. Running until Sunday (4 November), the festival is by far the biggest outdoor bonanza of wine, food and cultural elements ever staged in Hong Kong. It also initiated, to the delight of gastronomes, American Express Hong Kong Wine and Dine Month, dedicated to celebrating Hong Kong’s culinary excellence.
Performing the festival’s launch ceremony tonight were a number of important guests, including The Hon John Tsang, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; Mr Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux; The Hon James Tien, HKTB Chairman; Mr Arnaud Barthélémy, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau; Mr Andrew Wong, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism); Mr Pierre Goguet, President of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also the festival’s co-organiser; Mr Georges Haushalter, President of the Bordeaux Wine Council; and Ms Susanna Lee, Vice President and General Manager of Global Merchant Services, East Asia of American Express International, Inc, which is the title sponsor of both the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival and Hong Kong Wine and Dine Month.
This is the last year for the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival to take place at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. To increase publicity for the festival and raise awareness of Hong Kong’s image as the Culinary Capital of Asia among global travellers, the HKTB has invited nearly 100 international media guests, including those from CNBC and Fortune from the US, Travel Channel from the UK, n-tv from Germany, as well as Travel TV and Zhejiang Satellite TV from Mainland China, to cover the festival, and also other programmes in American Express Hong Kong Wine and Dine Month.
This year’s festival is indeed going to rally the international spotlight, with its more than 310 wine and food stalls offering an extensive selection of wines from 18 countries, along with innumerable delicacies. Newly available are a “Sweet Pavilion”, specialising in the pairing of desserts and wine, and a “New Products Zone”, showcasing wines released in Hong Kong for the first time.
In addition, a “Wine Culture Celebration” will be staged featuring Spanish and Italian wines, foods and cultural performances (Spanish on 2 November, and Italian on 3 and 4 November). During the Italian parties, chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy, including Marco Sacco from Piccolo Lago and Pino Lavarra from Rossellinis, will appear in the venue to prepare their signature dishes.
Besides satisfying participants’ palates, the HKTB has arranged body-swaying entertainment to indulge other senses. Performing at the opening ceremony tonight were Canto-pop singer Prudence Liew and magician Lee Hang-chai. In the next three days, Hanjin Tan, Pong Nan, Jonathan Wong, top Asian jazz performer Eugene Pao and Angelita Li, among others, will continue to enrapture the audience with their exceptional musical talent.
As in previous years, admission to the American Express Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival is free (except for designated pavilions), and participants can enjoy wine-tasting by purchasing wine passes and tokens. This year, the HKTB has rolled out the “Classic Wine Pass for 2” to encourage friends and partners to join the festival together. Also, plastic cups for wine-tasting are available on a user-pays basis to reduce usage and wastage.
American Express Cardmembers will enjoy exclusive privileges upon purchasing wine passes, including special prices of HK$170 for a Classic Wine Pass, HK$270 for a Classic Wine Pass for 2, and HK$450 for a Grand Wine Pass for access to the Riedel Grand Tasting Pavilion to sample premium wines.
The Hon John Tsang, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (fourth left), Mr Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux (third left), The Hon James Tien, HKTB Chairman (fourth right), Mr Arnaud Barthélémy, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau (third right); Mr Andrew Wong, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism) (second left), Ms Susanna Lee, Vice President and General Manager of Global Merchant Services, East Asia of American Express International, Inc, (far right), and other guests at the opening ceremony of the American Express Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival.
Officiating guests and representatives of key sponsoring and support organisations grace the opening ceremony of the American Express Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival.
Canto-pop sensation Prudence Liew and magician Lee Hang-chai (far left) give an engaging performance at the opening ceremony of the American Express Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival.
Source = HKTB