Chef Agustin Balbi of Haku HK recently flew to the Philippines for a collaborative dinner with Chele Gonzalez of Gallery by Chele. The incredible evening was part of Gallery by Chele’s Serie Kulinarya, an evening where Chef Gonzalez and a chef from a celebrated restaurant from overseas create a special tasting menu to be served for an evening. Haku was declared this year’s Best New Restaurant according to Hong Kong Tatler, and Chef Balbi recreates the dishes that earned him this distinction, while incorporating local ingredients he discovered at the palengke as well.
Chefs Balbi and Gonzalez met years ago at the Madrid Fusion Manila 2016, and they both clicked. Balbi describes it as them being on the “same frequency,” making collaboration easy and fun for the both of them. They both have similar backgrounds, says Balbi, with Balbi growing up in Argentina and thus speaking Spanish like Chef Gonzalez. they thus both grew up primarily exposed to Spanish cuisine, and both fell in love with Asian cuisine (with Balbi, Japanese food— he first received training in a Japanese restaurant in the US, then moved to Japan to learn more—and with Gonzalez Filipino food), fusing their knowledge of both cuisines to create something new and exciting, as seen and tasted in the Serie Kulinarya collaboration.
Innovative cuisine guided by seasonal Japanese ingredients.