Café Gray Deluxe Adds Vegan and Gluten-Free Dishes
Café Gray Deluxe at The Upper House has just launched their Revitalising Menu--- with everything on the menu being vegan, gluten-free and environmentally conscious. Intrigued? We sit down with Chef Gray to chat about his inspiration behind the concept.
Hello Chef Gray. Tell us a little about the Revitalising Menu at Café Gray Deluxe and how you came up with the idea.
The Revitalising Menu caters to the lactose intolerant, diabetic, gluten-free, vegan-vegetarian, religion based and medical restrictions, but that at the same time, isn’t a compromise. So essentially, with our guests with special dietary preferences and needs, it takes the guess work out of what they can or can't eat.
I came up with the idea from observing and listening to our customers’ needs, and looking at our operations in the kitchen. The Executive Chef and Chef de Cuisine spent a lot of time looking at our guest list and preferences, but we weren’t always advised of their dietary restrictions before arrival so we were constantly coming up with specific menus on the spot.
The menu will be a permanent fixture at Café Gray Deluxe and will become more of a focal point a) because of the demand and b) because we have been able to source the right products from suppliers.
What is your approach to making delicious vegan fare?
It comes down to sourcing the best and freshest product, apply simplicity, then add a touch of “the magic chefs hand and taste”. I think strong fundamentals and cooking techniques play of course a very important role as well, but perhaps one key thing not to forget: seasoning!
Do you see an increased demand for dishes suitable for plant-based diets at Café Gray Deluxe?
Yes, the demand has definitely increased significantly. Allergies have skyrocketed in the last few years and I attribute that to ever more processed foods, and an environmental degradation, in general, plays a great role.
We use only the freshest ingredients, striving for locally grown, organic and seasonal produce wherever possible. The greater intensity and finesse of these products complement Café Gray Deluxe’s philosophy and style of cooking.
What are some of the main challenges you encountered when developing and sourcing ingredients for this menu?
In comparison to California, where labelling of non-GMO for example is a must, we in Asia have still a long way to go with understanding, and getting educated on such important food oriented subjects. The great advantage however in Asia, is that steep learning curb is greeted with passion and care, especially the younger generation of food conscientious people, aware of sustainable and non-polluting farming practices and the care we need to give to the essential forms of well-being – clean food, water and air.
Café Gray Deluxe was one of the first restaurants in Hong Kong that featured sustainable seafood. What’s next?
That’s right. Five years ago we said we wanted to do support sustainable fisheries whilst everybody had their doubts, and it turns out that we proved them all wrong. This time we are going to be even more ahead of the game in researching, pricing and product development. Our goal is to provide guests with a dining experience where they know that the people who are handling their food, have the best intentions and the health of their guests at heart.
The Revitalising Menu changes on a regular basis to ensure the use of the freshest seasonal ingredients. Café Gray Deluxe is located on Level 49 of The Upper House, Pacific Place. For more information contact them at 3968 1106 or firstname.lastname@example.org