China Tea Party
Shenzhen, July 26, 2020
Hong Jian Afternoon Tea
" We watched in awe as Pastry Chef Mary Liu prepared 'painted plates' for the final chapter of the tea "

After repeated delays due to COVID-19 at last our first in-person event of the “New Year” took place. The Four Seasons staff were superb in working with the Bailliage to present a tea-themed event conceived by the hotel’s Food and Beverage Manager together with the Executive Chef Team.

“Three Chapters” from the West to the East paid tribute to Lu Yu from the Tang Dynasty who is also known as Hong Jian and affectionally called the “Tea Saint”.

The Afternoon Tea menu featured different teas paired with small dishes.

On arrival refreshing cold-brewed Roselle Tea was served from a fine china tea pot with pleasant aromas filling the air as everyone happily reconnected.

We watched in awe as Pastry Chef Mary Liu prepared “painted plates” for the final chapter of the tea. Each plate was decorated with a myriad of colours made from healthy, edible ingredients.

Then we were ushered into the Yi Lounge. Shenzhen Officers Lily Lou and Thomas Ekstrand welcomed us with a brief introduction to the event.

For those attendees who were new to the Chaîne, Bailli Estella Pan and Vice-Chargé de Missions Jason Zhang gave an introduction to and history of both the Chaîne and Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (OMGD) as well as a review of past events and plans for future events.

Chancelier Kevin Chang, representing the National Council, was invited to the stage to introduce members’ grades and ribbons. The work of the Association Caritative de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs (ACCR) - its projects and achievements - was highlighted. Overall, it was a wonderful time as we shared insights about Chaîne with interest from members and guests.

Food being key to Chaîne events it was on to the Hong Jian Tea in “Three Chapters”!

Chapter One: a three-tiered plate filled with bite-sized dishes which were delicate, delicious, and picture-perfectly presented. Longjing lobster dumpling with scallop; foie gras, salted egg yolk puff with sweet tea liqueur; abalone puff, roasted duck, jasmine tea oil; verrine of milk with jasmine tea; black tea, black sesame cake; tangerine peel pu’er chocolate cake; Earl Grey tea, red bean cake. All had been prepared by Executive Chef Yeung Chun Hung’s team and Pastry Chef Mary Liu.

Chapter One concluded on a sweet note before the page turned.

Chapter Two: hot smoked king salmon with flower tea; house cured blue fin tuna, lemon and chia seed tea bread. Each dish brought new surprises and colours.

Remember as we arrived plate painting demonstration?

Chapter Three: the plates appeared. Fine “paintings” made of matcha nuts, Oolong tea financier, black sesame cookies, chrysanthemum tea macaroons. Instead of jumping in and taking a bite, everyone sought their phones to take pictures of the works of art!

In keeping with tradition, Bailli Estella Pan gave appreciation to Lily Lou, Cat Lan, Jason Zhang, Joe Chan and Thomas Ekstrand for organising this magnificent event. She then invited representatives from the Four Seasons’ Chefs and Food and Beverages teams to come forward in order to express appreciation for their hard work and dedication. They were presented with a Bailliage Certification of Appreciation.

Late afternoon sunshine poured into Yi Lounge as old and new friends cherished the best time of their week at this precious gathering. We look forward to the next gathering when more culinary surprises and enjoyment await.

Vive la Chaîne!

Estella Pan