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Bo Innovation; The Inside Dish

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20th Sep 2008

Bo Innovation, the Chinese deconstructionist destination in Hong Kong, recently hosted a private tasting in London to preview food concepts for their ongoing international expansion. Bo Innovation opened back in 2001 in Hong Kong, bringing the first post-modern take to the Chinese food scene in a city well known for its Chinese.

In attendance were a collection of interested foodies, hosted by Bo Innovation's Vincent Kwok and Rafael Bellavita, who are working on extending Bo Innovation's model to the London market. Also included was John Man, head of China Tang - London's premier destination for food in this category, Tatiana Bellavita, a potions and lotions producer from Bangkok, and a clutch of Italian foodies: Anna, Matteo and Luigi.

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Jelly salad and sprouts at Bo Innovation, HK
Between presented concepts like tomato snow, preserved lobster, black truffle "cheung fan", and chinese almond foam, the discussion with John revolved around some issues of food and method. John's knowledge is intense, from the hidden ingredient in perfect xiao long bao (pork skin jelly) to his vote on the hottest eating spots in London.

Getting the nod? Spain's El Bulli: "still best in the world", Racine, where he proclaims the roast rump of veal as the best choice, and Mr. Chow, which is, John maintains, "the best authentic".

The Italians weighed in on what cities are hot from their food-oriented point of view: "Sydney is now the capital of food because of the freshness of the ingredients and this funny fix of Asian and Euro influences" that just seem to work better than anywhere else.

Best Japanese outside of Japan? Probably Scandinavia. They say: "The Scandinavians do great sashimi", partly due to the local prevalence of high quality fish to work with, but also due to the Scandinavian fondness for perfection... making a Scandinavian sushi chef the unknown must have item for great restaurants.

The next big trend? Locality. John sees increasing demand, coupled with food and resource pressure, resulting in new eco-friendly food movements - from a coming boom in 'grow your own food' (already the province of the country-rich) to re-imagination and widening views of staples. The next decade will be about reformulating the basics - soybeans, rice, wheat - and stretching what can be done with these items in new and surprising ways. From apple-ized tofu to wheatmeat... home grown and engineered will be the new deconstructed.