From left to right: Heidi Yu Spurrell, CEO, Food Made Good HK, Mr. Wong Kam-sing, GBS, JP, Secretary for the Environment HKSAR, and Shane Osborn, President, Food Made Good HK
What an evening it was! Last week Food Made Good Hong Kong had its first awards ceremony for its Members, the first and only awards ceremony dedicated to sustainable food service in Hong Kong.
In the 48 hours running up to the event however we had to pivot from an in person event to a livestream only due to rising Covid cases – we worried that our guests would be disappointed, we worried that our sponsors would pull out, it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride.
But we pulled it off! So the feedback says. We managed to gather our winners, presenters and a handful of sponsors together for what was an intimate evening of sombre celebration, acknowledging the hard work of Members who have stuck to their principles on sustainability in the face of what has been an unprecedented year not just in HK but globally.
We wanted to recognise the resilience of our HK restaurateurs and chefs, that against the odds they stayed afloat and kept sustainability operations at the forefront – no compromises.
In the end we presented seven awards which you can read about here, and we are proud to say that the winners came from a wide range of restaurant types, from ‘high end’ (Two Michelin starred) to ‘high street’, demonstrating sustainability is a diverse and inclusive space.
Our winners are:
Business of the Year: SpiceBox Organic
One Planet Plate: Mana!
Good to Go: Fete Up
Landlord Choice: Treehouse
You can read about the categories here.
Our winners are all well deserving, however the Food Made Good Business of the Year won by SpiceBox Organics, with Amber and Haoma nominated deserve a special shoutout. SpiceBox Organics are our all-around sustainability champion and we praise many of their practices, including sourcing predominantly plant proteins, such as legumes and pulses, as well as organic milk, and cage free eggs in their female-run kitchen. Importantly, Punam and her team are passionate about sharing their story and values, and have undertaken this by developing a bespoke training deck to educate their staff on organic certification, wellness, health and other cooking topics. SpiceBox Organics are also very conscientious about packaging and are an ambitious business, continually striving for more sustainable ingredients.
Earlier this year, Amber won the Sustainable Restaurant Award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020, so it is great to now have their achievements recognised on home soil as winners of the Environment award. Amber have made excellent strides in reducing their waste output, with ongoing targets monitored, including eliminating all single-use plastics by the end of 2020. Amber also has innovative practices in place such as upcycling abalone and scallop shells into buttons and art.
Some of our Winners left to right: Richard Ekkebus (Amber), Heidi Yu Spurrell (CEO Food Made Good HK), Punam Chopra (SpiceBox Organics), and Christian Mongendre (Treehouse)
Another worthy mention goes to Sohofama, our society superstars. They are committed to promoting healthy eating and living by delivering wellness pop-ups, as well as hosting art exhibitions and offering their space as a community venue for sustainability meetups. We hope all our winners’ stories will inspire others in Hong Kong to take notice.
Food educator, artist and activist Charles Michel draws inspiration from Henderson Land logo to create food art
We couldn’t not mention our special guests! Food educator, artist and activist Charles Michel (Netflix star The Final Table finalist) was a special guest via a recorded video. To highlight the need for landlords to get on board with sustainability for their F&B tenants we asked Charles to create some food art, and he did a fantastic job with an art-inspired replication of the Henderson Land group logo, we watched this via his time lapse video. Landlords play a pivotal role in engaging their F&B tenants on the issues, so we were so pleased to have one as our lead sponsor. We then presented this to Henderson Land Group via our local celebrity and sustainability advocate Nicola Cheung Young who passionately told us about her personal journey to reduce meat consumption at our press conference a few days earlier.
Nicola Cheung Young speaks about her journey as a sustainability advocate during the press conference
We were also extremely honoured to have Hong Kong’s Secretary for the Environment, Wong Kam-sing, be our in person special guest speaker. Wow, in the first 12 months of operations in Hong Kong we’ve reached out to the top government official on environment – a proud moment for the team. He announced the Hong Kong government’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 – of course delivering this won’t be easy, but I say we have to start somewhere. An announcement like this puts policy on paper, and hopefully this will ensure first steps towards accountability.
Richard Ekkebbus (left) receives the Environment Award from Secretary for the Environment, Mr. Wong Kam-sing, GBS, JP (right)
Our cheese board trophies made from felled local lychee trees, in all shapes and sizes
We believe in embedding sustainable practices in everything we do, including all our events. The awards ceremony was no different, we are especially proud of the cheeseboard trophies as they were chosen for the fact that they are made from locally felled lychee trees, saved from landfill, hurray.
We also tried to ensure that our guests who were meant to be present could still enjoy the show digitally, so we raced to set up a digital livestream and a virtual programme. There is a silver lining, on reflection through doing the livestream we reached a wider audience, so far we’ve had over 300 views of the facebook video and we also felt the presence of our sister Food Made Good teams in the UK, Japan and Greece too, which was just great!
Finally a shout out to our amazing sponsors whom without them we could not have done it. And because we try to work with partners who share our vision… a special note to MHD (Moët Hennessy Diageo) for their Ruinart Champagne.
From left to right: Victoria Hung, Deanna Cheung, Trupty Patel (Moët Hennessy Diageo), Mr. Wong Kam-sing, GBS, JP (Secretary for the Environment HKSAR), Heidi Yu Spurrell (CEO, Food Made Good HK), Virginia Bien (Moët Hennessy Diageo), and Antonio Lai (executive mixologist)
You may know that this year they released their ‘second skin’ eco packaging -a reduction of 60% in carbon emissions through clever innovation on packaging that was possible after 2 years of research. We want to thank Deliveroo for supporting our Good to Go award – they were at our launch party last year too. We applaud you for walking the talk on working with your vendors on responsible consumption and production. It’s great to see you provide guidance on eco-packaging, sustainable food supply, and ordering responsibly. And massive thanks to WWF-Hong Kong our co organiser and supporter – not just at this awards, but also since our inception at launch in 2019. Check out their newly released planet based diets.
We are incredibly grateful too to Eaton Club (for the beautiful space), Make Studios (a great production crew), Antonio Lai (our rockstar mixologist), Debbie Wong (our beautiful and talented MC), Shane Osborn (our amazing president) and Amber chef Richard Ekkebus (previous Asia’s 50 Best winner for most sustainable restaurants,) and MANA! for providing canapes, and Asian Food Network our media partner. Our eminent advisory board too, without them we wouldn’t be here today. A shout out to the restaurant members whose food we had to cancel due to last minute livestream only plans: Bedu, Famaland, Fivelements Habitat, and Petrus.
Debbie Wong (writer and presenter, and MC), Mr. Wong Kam-sing, GBS, JP (Secretary for the Environment, HKSAR) and Heidi Yu Spurrell (CEO, Food Made Good HK) with sponsors and awardees
It’s only through collaboration with businesses, governments and civil society groups that we can create change in a holistic way. If we are going to normalise sustainability in the food service sector we have to address the wider food systems challenges – our framework is well placed to do that. Today we have just shy of 50 members and partners – and we intend to more than double this in 2021 – so join us if you are not yet with us, together through our membership programme we can go further and faster on sustainability.
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