The Panelists featuring: (from left to right) Leon Navaretna from Pernod Ricard Asia, Roman Ghale from Penicillin, Agung Prabowo from Penicillin, Germaine Woon from JIA Group, Malique Goldin from Black Sheep Restaurants, Alex Ko from Tastings Group, Richard Ekkebus from The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, and Heidi Yu-Spurrell from Food Made Good HK.
This September, The Food Made Good HK team was privileged to host The Bar World of Tomorrow by Pernod Ricard stage takeover, at the Natural & Organic Asia Academy 2021 trade show.
Leon Navaretna, Project Manager of Sustainability and Responsibility at Pernod Ricard Asia, opened the event by introducing Pernod Ricard’s Sustainability roadmap ‘Good Times from a Good Place’ built around 4 key pillars which are linked to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Nurturing Terroir, Valuing People, Circular Making and Responsible Hosting. One of the world’s leading wine and spirit companies, Pernod Ricard has been a LEAD member of the UN Global Compact since 2003 and is recognized for proactively supporting the UN’s SDGs.
Pernod Ricard Asia Team & Heidi Yu-Spurrell, CEO of Food Made Good HK
Pernod Ricard Speciality Brand Ambassador Luca Andrei (left), Managing Director Frantz Hotton, Pernod Ricard Hong Kong & Macau (middle), Pernod Ricard Account Manager Fiona Man (right)
From left to right: Germaine Woon, Head of Marketing & Communications of JIA Group, Malique Goldin, Head of Partnerships of Black Sheep Restaurants, Alex Ko, Beverage Development Manager of Tastings Group, Richard Ekkebus, Director of Culinary Operations and Food & Beverage of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Heidi Yu Spurrell, CEO of Food Made Good HK
How Pernod Ricard is championing sustainability in F&B
As the world’s only wine and spirits company to hold this position, Pernod Ricard’s efforts are helping shift the culture of the F&B industry to redefine its sustainability goals. In partnership with Trash Tiki and the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), Pernod Ricard designed The Bar World of Tomorrow, an online course to support bartenders globally on their sustainability journey. In 2021, Food Made Good HK brought the course to life through designing face-to-face delivery. Pernod Ricard has set a goal of training 10,000 bartenders to be sustainability leaders in the drinks industry globally by 2030. High-profile leaders such as Pernod Ricard and the SRA are raising standards and driving change through knowledge sharing – creating countless opportunities to scale up sustainable practices across the industry and to shift this intention from a ‘movement’ to the mainstream.
Pernod Ricard Asia in partnership with Food Made Good HK set out to localise the programme to address challenges that are specific to Hong Kong. These include policy and legislation on maternity and paternity leave, and introducing waste regulations and certifications for local sourcing. Our robust network of food service providers and suppliers will also provide opportunities for local bartenders to find sustainable solution providers, and to bring innovation and the implementation of best practices to local bars.
In a stimulating and informative discussion moderated by our very own CEO, Heidi Spurrell and Pernod Ricard’s Leon Navaretna, we heard from a panel of sustainability leaders in the local F&B industry: Malique Goldin from Black Sheep Restaurants, Germaine Woon from JIA Group, Alex Ko of Tastings Group, Agung Prabowo and Roman Ghale from Penicillin, and Chef Richard Ekkebus from the Landmark Mandarin Oriental.
Alex Ko from Tastings Group, mixologist extraordinaire
Heidi Yu Spurrell, CEO of Food Made Good HK
Alex Ko from Tastings Group, mixologist extraordinaire
Sustainability initiatives from Black Sheep
During our discussion about “How The HK F&B sector is addressing sustainability?”, we heard first from Malique Goldin who shared some food waste and sustainable packaging initiatives from Black Sheep Restaurants and how they are pioneering a local reuse and return system.
Recognising the lack of reprocessing plants in Hong Kong, the group introduced tiffin boxes to certain restaurants to help reduce single-use containers – although Malique noted that these containers cannot accommodate all cuisines. Malique also shared some admirable initiatives introduced by chefs in the Black Sheep Group such as upcycling leftover ingredients from restaurants to create new dishes.
JIA and the role of top-down influencers
On the topic of curating a culture of sustainability in F&B, Germaine from JIA Group conveyed the importance of creating top-down influencers to spread the message far and wide. There were nods of agreement around the room with the importance of aligning values across teams to attain a common goal clearly resonating. Chefs are responsible for initiating changes – from educating people on sourcing local ingredients to make high-quality food, to challenging misconceptions about the superiority of imported food.
Innovation from Tastings Group
Alex from Tastings Group shared cost-saving ideas such as coordinating kitchen and bar menus, optimizing waste reduction and upcycling leftover ingredients. The close proximity of bars and restaurants in Soho makes this very feasible. One interesting idea proposed by Alex, suggested using dehydrated corn husks left over from restaurants to make disposable coasters for bars.
Healing the planet at Penicillin
Agung and Roman, the brains behind Asia’s Most Sustainable Bar 2021, shared the story of how Penicillin was conceived. Seeing an opportunity for a sustainable bar in Hong Kong, they integrated sustainable design, closed-loop systems and local ingredients to revolutionize bartending. It was enlightening and inspiring to hear the lengths they went to – even making the tabletops at Penicillin from wood sourced from trees that had fallen during Typhoon Mangkhut.
Leon Navaretna, Project Manager of Sustainability and Responsibility, Pernod Ricard Asia (left), Roman Ghale, Co-Founder of Penicillin (middle), Agung Prabowo, Co-Founder of Pencillin (right)
Winners: Speciality Brand Ambassador Luca Andrei, at Pernod Ricard Hong & Macau (left) Heidi Yu Spurrell, CEO of Food Made Good HK (middle), Malique Goldin, Head of Partnerships of Black Sheep Restaurants (right)
Germaine Woon from JIA Group
How the Mandarin marries sustainability & luxury
Does practising sustainability mean compromising on premium quality? Chef Richard Ekkebus takes a different view and talked about his mission to create sustainable luxury. The Mandarin’s acclaimed Amber restaurant has been leading the charge for a cleaner, safer, more equitable food system. For example, Richard mentioned how the restaurant was the first in Hong Kong to install Nordaq, a freshwater filtering and bottling system from Sweden that can provide both still and sparkling water – thereby eliminated the need for imported bottles.
A cocktail of ideas at an interactive workshop
Last on the agenda was an interactive sustainability workshop which gave the audience a taste of The Bar World of Tomorrow training. Participants were divided into teams, then asked to discuss sustainable initiatives for bartenders and reflect on their feasibility. Ideas suggested including freezing avocado seeds to be used as ice cubes and using egg replacement ingredients in cocktails. Participants in this mini-workshop gained a wealth of knowledge on making sustainability fun and achievable.
The event concluded with Alex treating the audience to a mixologist demo in which he created a sustainable cocktail from rice and eggshells. He also shared tips on utilizing leftover rice to make fermented rice drinks such as shik-hye and amazake; and reusing eggshells to make eggshell shrubs for cocktails. The simplicity of these ideas was eye-opening and the simple steps for making eggshell shrubs were especially enlightening: simply boil crushed eggshells in water to sterilize, then add vinegar and allow them to ferment for a few days.
These actionable insights were well received by everyone present. In wrapping things up, Heidi observed that sustainability requires both small and big steps – and that where’s there’s a will, there’s a way. This illuminating and enjoyable event was clearly valuable for our partners and members. May it encourage greater commitment to sustainable practices in the local F&B industry and inspire innovation! Thank you again to Pernod Ricard Hong Kong and Macau, and Pernod Ricard Asia for making this event a great success!
Chef Richard Ekkebus from The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel