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  • Writer's pictureSasha Huang

A Taste of Giving: The Great Chefs of Hong Kong's Impact on Special Needs Children

INTERVIEW


Kim Murphy, Chairman of the Great Chefs Working Group

In the world of fine dining and charitable efforts, few initiatives shine as brightly as the Great Chefs of Hong Kong, a fundraising aimed at supporting children with special needs and their families. On Monday, May 6th, Great Chefs of Hong Kong and the Heep Hong Society presents the 27th Great Chefs of Hong Kong at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.


At the helm of this remarkable endeavour is Kim Murphy, a stalwart figure in Hong Kong's gastronomic scene as the Chair of the Management Committee for the Great Chefs of Hong Kong. For 14 years, Murphy has steered this annual culinary extravaganza, transforming everyday competitors into collaborators, all in the name of a noble cause. This year marks the 27th edition, promising a culinary feast with renowned chefs and restaurants like Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Octavium, The Mira Hong Kong – Cuisine Cuisine, Alto Bar & Grill, and more, coming together to delight palates and uplift spirits. Join us as we delve into the story behind this inspiring collaboration and its impact on the lives it touches.


Date: 6 May 2024 (Monday)

Time: 6:00 – 9:00 pm (General and Great Chefs Plus Ticket) 7:00 – 10:00 pm (Star Chefs Plus Ticket)

Venue: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong



Bernice Liu and Executive Chef of Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Nikolaos Lekkas

1. What do you love the most about your role as the Chair of the Great Chefs Working Committee?


I love being part of such an energetic and connected team of Food and Beverage professionals in Hong Kong who make up the body of our Great Chefs committee. I have been involved since the inception in 1990 as both a participant with the Chefs from the restaurants I managed and then as Chair of the committee for the last 20 years.


Our committee has been blessed with contributions from many F&B leaders and influencers in a traditional sense, in that they were actively engaged in the industry in all areas – from kitchen operations to marketing and management.

I also secretly love the logistics of this exciting event from our planning to the opening of the doors to our guests on the night – watching the pure pleasure and delight on everyone’s faces.



Steamed Rice Flour with Minced Pork and Dried Shrimps by Le Soleil


2. Could you describe the origins and evolution of the Great Chefs of Hong Kong event? How has it grown or changed over the years?


In the beginning, a group of philanthropic Hong Kong “ladies” offered their chauffeur-driven cars to parents who, with children suffering from conditions such as polio, were struggling to get around. And so Heep Hong Society, which has just turned 60, was established. Great Chefs was created in 1990, first held at the Hilton Hotel to raise money to supplement government subsidies, specifically to support the Parent Resource Centre. A remarkable space where multi-generational families can gather to share their experiences and offer support to each other.


In many ways, the story of Great Chefs mirrored the growth of the Food and Beverage industry in Hong Kong. Initially through the nineties with the growth of independent restaurants and the introduction of diverse international cuisine. The sharing of experience through the arrival of internationally trained chefs passing knowledge to local chefs. The love of Asian cuisines and the innovation in how dishes have been presented. The growth in our own Michelin Star chefs.

I think of it in terms of my own career in F&B. Starting as a consultant, sharing my knowledge, opening bars and restaurants that served many new styles of cuisine and training local staff. Now as a Nutritionist, supporting the F&B industries embracement of healthier food options and sustainable souring of ingredients.

Food and how we present it, the ingredients we use, and the knowledge around it, will always be an important part of our lives. Marrying these passions with our responsibility to give back to our local communities is key to our success and development of the Great Chefs.


Great Chefs Working Group representatives and Bernice Liu with Heep Hong Society children


"Marrying these passions with our responsibility to give back to our local communities is key to our success and development of the Great Chefs."

- Kim Murphy, Chairman of the Great Chefs Working Group



Dan Dan Burrata by Mirage Bar

3. What has been the most rewarding aspect of your work with the Great Chefs of Hong Kong and Heep Hong Society?


I am able to utilise my skills as an experienced F&B professional and event coordinator, while embracing my great passion for food and good wine to raise money for Heep Hong Society.


Heep Hong provides such an important role for so many families of children with special needs. The joy and celebration generated by the respect the chefs show these children, through their generosity and commitment, to the culinary excellence they deliver on the night.



Signature dishes from the 27th Great Chefs of Hong Kong

4. For first-time attendees of the Great Chefs of Hong Kong, what tips or advice would you give to maximise their experience at the event?


Bring a hearty appetite, an open mind and wear comfortable shoes.


Take the time to read the menus presented in the booklet and decide what excites you the most – there are 31 booths in the ballroom and over 50 chefs in total to explore.


Plan your savoury and sweet food choices by looking at the food map in the booklet. Take this opportunity to chat with the chefs!


Take time to enjoy the occasion. Celebrate the incredible culinary diversity where, more than ever this year, along side dishes from beloved and long-standing restaurants, the cross-cultural innovations taking place across the city are presented.


And of course don’t forget to accompany it with the broad selection of premium wine and beverages.



Prawn Panang Curry Served with Steamed Butterfly Blue Pea Rice by Namo Avant Thai


The joy and celebration generated by the respect the chefs show these children, through their generosity and commitment, to the culinary excellence they deliver on the night.

- Kim Murphy, Chairman of the Great Chefs Working Group




The 27th Great Chefs of Hong Kong, hosted by Heep Hong Society

5. Looking forward, what goals do you have for the Great Chefs of Hong Kong?


Great Chefs will keep evolving. Our food and beverage have always been aligned with trends and the needs of the industry. We want to engage young people in Hong Kong and deliver a night they are excited to be involved in.

We would also like to expand our reach to Macau as we see that their F&B industry is growing and there are many Great Chefs in Macau to celebrate. We have engaged with a few chefs from Macau over the years, so I can see us one day hosting a Great Chefs in Macau.


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All imagery is provided by Sinclair Comms.


Purchase the Great Chefs of Hong Kong General ticket HERE and Star Chefs Plus ticket HERE.


Address: 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong | Website: Phone: +852 2776 3111 | Email: info@heephong.org | Instagram: @hhs1963 | Facebook: @heephong


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