Chefs working in the same city can sometimes act like competitors more than friends, but sometimes they can also surprise us by collaborating on special projects together. Such is the case with chefs Akrame Benallal and Philippe Orrico, the men helming some of Hong Kong’s finest French restaurants — Restaurant Akrame, Upper Modern Bistro, ON Dining and Picnic on Forbes — who are collaborating on a two-night ‘Black & White Dinner’ to take place on 21 and 22 September.
The dinner will highlight the similarities and differences between the chefs, serving as a study in contrasts aesthetically, conceptually and flavour-wise. Chef Benallal is known to love the colour black, who derives inspiration from the hue he describes as ‘intriguing and full of potential’. You can see evidence of his appreciation for black at his eponymous restaurant, from the use of black plates and ingredients like black caramel to dishes created from bamboo coal. Chef Orrico, meanwhile, has a passion for white that is evident the minimalistic interiors at both ON Dining and Upper Modern Bistro.
The same menu will be served both nights, but the venues will change. The first dinner will be held on Wednesday, 21 September at Upper Modern Bistro, for which chef Benallal will be cooking alongside chef Orrico and the rest of the kitchen team. The second dinner will be held on Thursday, 22 September at Restaurant Akrame, for which chef Orrico will be working inside the kitchen with chef Benallal. The price for this seven-course dinner will be HK$988 + 10% service charge; wine pairing is available for an additional HK$688, which includes five glasses. See the entire menu below.
Oyster, tetragon, vodka lemon and charcoal granita (Chef Akrame)
White Risotto, Yellow tomato water, Langoustines, Sancho pepper (Chef Philippe)
Black snapper, beetroots and rhubarb (Chef Akrame)
Free Range Guinea Fowl, Turnips, Apple, Pecan Nuts (Chef Philippe)
Goat cheese and Mountain Honey (Chef Akrame)
Coconut, Caramel, Passion Fruit (Chef Philippe)
Black tube, truffle and chocolate (Chef Akrame)
Upper Modern Bistro, 6-14 Upper Station Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2517 0977, upper-bistro.com
Akrame, 9B Ship Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong, +852 2528 5068, akrame.com.hk