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Agustin Balbi Your gastronomic journey has spanned the globe, with experience in the West and the East, and both the Southern and Northern hemispheres. How has such exposure helped you develop your culinary identity? It helped me in many ways as different regions and countries expose you to new tastes and flavours. Learning different types of cuisines and how they fit into other cultures expands your food perspective in many ways. I constantly seek to evolve professionally so as to develop further my approach towards food. How do your Italo-Argentinian roots spell out in your work? My childhood food memories form the basis of my approach in the kitchen. It is present in every plate I prepare. By time though, my approach has evolved thanks to my exposure to other food cultures across the globe. At a certain point in your career you decided to spend some time training in Japan. Why? It is the goal of many prospective Argentinean chefs to travel and work in Europe. However I had a different plan for my culinary route and opted to work in the United States. Whilst working in the United States, I was given the opportunity for a stage at a restaurant that applied French techniques together with influences from Japanese cuisine. That experience increased my interest in Japanese cuisine which encouraged me to move to Japan to keep on learning and immerse myself in its culture and amazing cuisine. In 2015 you were selected as one of the top 10 Japan San Pellegrino Young Chef (under 30). What has such an achievement meant to you? It meant a lot to be chosen in that selection and being the only foreigner was a major feat. The experience helped me develop further my culinary career. Haku has often been described as a place to hide from the impossiblybright lights and noise of the other dining options. What is so special about Haku’s atmosphere? It is described that way because we are inside Hong Kong’s largest shopping mall. It is also famous for its incredible location which offers breathtaking views of Hong Kong. Haku is intentionally in a corner with a discrete doorway which makes it easily to miss out. The place is a refuge, a place to hide from the impossibly-bright lights and noise of the other dining options. The outlet stresses on the quality of the ingredients selected and on the detail in every dish prepared.


June 2018


Delicious 11 (Summer Edition)