The Inaugural Food Culture Conference, themed
‘Quality and Food: a multifaceted perspective’
marks the great success of
Cross-exchange between Hong Kong & France
This 1st edition of Food Culture Conference themed ‘Quality and Food: a multifaceted perspective’ organized by SOPEXA proves out to be a great success with more than 100 participants from professional institutions and F&B industry. Passionate, captivated audience shared around the topic “Quality and Food: a multifaceted perspective”, to promote food cultural exchange between France and Hong Kong.
With support of the French Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, the conference took place on 8 January, 2013. Bringing together professors from both University of Tours – UNESCO Chair – and Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as professionals from the food and wine industry, the conference explored the differences and similarities in the two food cultures. 7 speakers plus 1 moderator and more than 100 attendees took part.
Marc de Ferrière, in charge of the UNESCO chair ‘Protection and promotion of cultural food heritage’, moderated two discussions involving students from the CUHK, wine trade professionals or specialists of the food industry.
At the second, entitled quality, process of exportation and local adaptation, Jean-Pierre Williot, director of the LÉA Alimentation Department in Tours, spoke of innovation and quality, added-value, adaptation to local markets and the existence of ‘a’ quality more than ‘the’ quality. Sylvie Vabre, specialist in the history of consumption and food industries, then focused on the long path that French cheese had to pursue to go from being ‘indigestible’ to a ‘cultural treasure’. She saw this in three major stages: achieving know-how, entering gastronomy and succeeding in being a farm product transformed by the food industry. Annabel Jackson, head of the HK Slow Food Convivium, shared her recent experience in Yunnan surrounded by what she describes as the purest air there is, in a countryside where farmers wonder what organic farming is as they can’t imagine any other way. She also described the fascinating interest for mushrooms of all kind, and the way inhabitants treasure them, from foraging to cooking. Finally, Peter Cuong Franklin, cooking instructor and chef of his own Vietnamese restaurant in Hong Kong, expressed his concerns on the difficulty of finding top quality ingredients suitable for traditional Vietnamese cuisine in Hong Kong and lack of variety due to the small size of the Vietnamese community. In conclusion, the key word was deemed to be: ‘adaptation’, whether it is to a new culture, new techniques or new ingredients.
Introduction from Sopexa
Mr. Sidney Cheung, Anthropology Department CUHK
1st Round table discussion: Evolution of food and beverage quality
Moderator: Mr. Marc de Ferriere Speakers
Ms. Isabelle Bianquis
Mr. Eric Kwok
Mr. Sidney Cheung
2nd Round table discussion: Quality, process of exportation and local adaptation
Moderator: Mr. Marc de Ferrière
Mr. Jean-Pierre Williot
Ms. Sylvie Vabre
Ms. Annabel Jackson
Mr. Peter Cuong Franklin
APPENDIX II: SPEAKER PROFILE
l Mr. Marc de Ferrière, Professor of Contemporary History (exceptional class) in University of Tours since 2004. In charge of the UNESCO chair "Protection and promotion of cultural food heritages", Also president of the European Food History and Culture Institute, as well as an elected member of the Scientist Council of the University François Rabelais of Tours since 2005. He moderated the debate over this Food Culture Conference.
l Ms. Isabelle Bianquis, Lecturer of Ethnology at University of Strasbourg from 1994 to 2005
and since 2005 as professor of Anthropology at University François Rabelais of Tours, specializing
in Food Anthropology and Anthropology of Politics.
l Ms. Annabel Jackson, a food and wine expert and consultant, who is head of the Hong
Kong Slow Food Convivium and the author of Macau on a Plate (1994), Street Café Vietnam
(1999), World Food China (2003), Taste of Macau: Portuguese Cuisine on the China Coast (2004)
and Modern Indian Cooking (2004).
l Mr. Sidney Cheung, Professor and anthropologist, who has recently finished a
food-related knowledge transfer project on developing touristic resources within and for the
local neighborhood in Sheung Wan.
l Mr. Peter Cuong Franklin, was born in Dalat (Vietnam) and educated in the US and Asia.
He was graduated from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu with a Grand Diplôme
de Cuisine and Patisserie. He has trained and worked at some of the best restaurants
including Michelin starred Caprice in Hong Kong, Alinea and Next in Chicago, and La
Verticale and Madame Hien in Hanoi, Vietnam. He is currently a cooking instructor, consultant
chef and chef/owner of a Vietnamese restaurant in Hong Kong.
l We thank Ô muse de Bordeaux for their kind participation through supplying precious sparkling and still water from Bordeaux (Arcachon source).
l De Balman also offers our speakers with their delicious macarons.
Video of the conference is now available at YouTube: