Influenced by her South African roots, sous chef Erica Shone has been giving fine diners in Asia a taste of South Africa for the past few years. Recently Hong Kong diners had the chance to experience a delicious fusion menu at the South African Icons Wine Dinner hosted at The Park Lane Hong Kong in celebration of South African wine month. Traditional South African dishes were reinvented and paired with wines from Bellingham, Hartenberg Estate, Kanonkop and Villiera for an unforgettable culinary experience. Erica was able to share her local culinary expertise with the head chef to create colourfully inventive dishes such as sea bass with biltong powder, butternut puree and roasted figs; pigeon with a bobotie samoosa; ‘pap en vleis’ with dry aged sirloin, pap and garden tomato chutney; and lavender infused koeksisters. Erica also advised on the biltong making process for the biltong used in the dishes. Erica’s creativity and passion, coupled with her love for fresh produce and her South African roots ensures that her culinary creations are every bit as good to eat as they are to look at.
Where were you born?
I was born in Hong Kong. We left in 1997 to move to Johannesburg.
What brought you to Hong Kong and how long have you lived here?
My husband and I wanted to come to Hong Kong to explore the food scene. My current job brought me to the city – I’m the Sous Chef of SKYE Restaurant and Bar at The Park Lane Hong Kong in Causeway Bay. We’ve been living here for almost 3 years.
What did you do before coming to Hong Kong?
We were living in Shenzhen where I was working at the Hilton Shekou Nanhai Hotel.
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I knew from a young age that I wanted to be in the industry. I grew up helping out at the bakery where my mother used to work and that memory always inspires me.
What is your favourite thing about Hong Kong?
I really enjoy the variety of ingredients available at the local markets. I also love the wide selection of restaurants available in the city.
What do you miss most about South Africa?
I miss my family and friends most.
What is your favourite place in South Africa?
Blue Peter in Cape Town.
What are your favourite South African dishes (to cook and to eat)?
Definitely bobotie, koeksisters and melktert.
What inspires you in the kitchen?
I am inspired by beautiful fresh produce.
What is your favourite restaurant in Hong Kong?
My husband and I are both chefs and our different schedules, as well as wanting to spend quality time with our daughter, makes it very difficult for us to eat out often. If we do have the chance, we tend to try out new restaurants, but for now we don’t have any favourite restaurant in particular.
Another South African chef will be visiting SKYE Restaurant and Bar at The Park Lane Hotel in May. Don’t miss pastry chef André Steyn from the iconic South African fine dining establishment La Colombe Restaurant. A special Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea and Brunch will be hosted with chef André’s creations on 12 and 13 May 2018. For bookings and enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.