Local Food Economy

Hong Kong Food Festival: Sharing the delights and memories of hometown

By Angus Lam

Enjoying food at the Hong Kong Food Festival

Our latest blog is a report from Angus Lam from the Walk Along CIC Team. Newly registered in February this year, Walk Along is an organisation focussing on community food production, urban farming, local cultural food, climate change and employment orientation for Hongkongers in the UK. Angus reports on their recent food festival and plans to promote local food systems among Bristol Hongkongers.

On 7 May 2022 afternoon, a shiny warm day with early summer breeze.  Fragrance of scrumptious Hongkongese cuisine and Cantonese chats filled the whole space inside Filton Community Centre. More than 180 Hongkongers joined the first Hong Kong Food Festival in Bristol.

This event was co-organised by the Walk Along CIC and Hongkongers in Britain. 19 community chefs were recruited to prepare home-made cuisine or beverages. It attracted participants from London, Wales and South West England to share the delights and memories of our beloved hometown.  Curry fish balls, imitation shark fin soup, milk tea, dim sum, tofu pudding and many more… one might feel like being on a busy street of Hong Kong, surrounded by mobile streetside food carts.

Kevin Chan, who used to run a restaurant in Hong Kong, won the “Homegrown Flavours” poll with his culinary skill in making steamed chicken rice. He said the festival motivated him to consider opening a restaurant for the Hong Kong food lovers. Karen, who won the “Attractive Stall Design” poll, had just learned to make imitation shark fin soup which was her husband’s favourite food. It took her an overnight to prepare the soup, which carried the love to her husband. 

Hong Kong Food Festival visitors

The festival also attracted locals in Bristol to share the taste and cooking tips, Tim was one of them who came with his daughter. He was born and spent his childhood in Hong Kong. “The festival brought back so many good memories, plus the at home feeling of being surrounded by a sea of Cantonese”, says Tim. 

The festival gained encouraging feedback from the participants and expectations for re-organising it. Hong Kong cuisine has a unique culture inherited from both South China and the western world. We also discovered an amazing potential of community chefs with diverse culinary skills. 

Menus at the Hong Kong Food Festival

Walk Along has a strong focus on sustainability, ecological food system and community integrations. This experience has enhanced our understanding about food multi-functionality. Apart from the food festival, we are planning to organise a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm visit in Bristol this summer to promote the concepts of local food system among the Hongkongers and evolutions of the food supply chain in the South West. Another follow-up idea is to explore training about homemade community food supply and build exchange platforms. We believe that it will also help to enhance resilience towards pandemic and climate change crises. Hopefully, the taste of Hong Kong cultural food can be widely shared among the society.

If you would like to be involved, all activities are promoted via Facebook at www.facebook.com/walkalongukhk (posts are mostly in Chinese.)

By setting the wheels in motion now, together we can transform the future of food in our city, building in resilience over the next decade. So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

Join the conversation

So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

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