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Q&A: Alchemy chef Pascal Breant

The chef behind Hong Kong's first dining in the dark restaurant Alchemy HK sheds light on his culinary journey and eye-opening new project.

Chef of the first ‘dining in the dark’ restaurant in Hong Kong, Pascal Breant talks to us about his roots and his persistence in quality dining.

What’s your first food related memory?
I actually grew up in a family bakery and pastry shop in Normandy. The aroma of the butter from the croissants, the process of making praline and the magic of the bread proofing and baking was just divine. I fell in love with the profession regardless of the hours. I’d discovered my passion and I never looked back. 

What’s your most interesting food experience?
My first country abroad was Japan. I only spoke French and no English back then, so everything was new to me. Even eating with chopsticks was a new experience for me – let alone raw fish. The most interesting experience was when I had raw venison fresh from the hunt, we dipped it in soya sauce while the flesh was still warm and moving. 

What attracted you to work on a dining in the dark project?
The challenge of having a unique concept, where your taste buds are pushed to the limit. Hong Kong has more than 100,000 restaurants with a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world. I felt that Hong Kong was ready for a must-try experience like the one at Alchemy.

Since diners are deprived of sight, how do you adjust your recipes to cater to that?
I do not change any good recipes or methods. We make sure we serve tasty dishes and do not compromise because of the darkness, but we do tailor dishes in order to make them easy to eat, though actually we prepare them exactly the same way.

Alchemy LG/F, 16 Arbuthnot Rd, Central, 6821 2801; alchemy-concept.com.

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