AGUSTIN BALBI – EXECUTIVE CHEF OF HAKU, HK
Restaurant HAKU in Hong Kong
Modern Japanese with Mediterranean touches
Created with Japanese 3* chef Hideaki Matsuo
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Chef Agustin Balbi began his road into culinary arts at the age of just 15 inspired by the cooking and hospitality shown at a very early age by his Spanish grandmother. Balbi began his career working under Thierry Pzonka (maitre cuisinier de France) at one of the most highly acclaimed restaurants in Buenos Aires while studying at the Argentina best culinary school, The BUE Trainers.
This marked the start of his culinary career on the international stage, where he has won numerous awards, including Hong Kong Best New Chef 2016 by T Dining by Hong Kong Tatler.
After graduation with honours, Balbi looked for a different path than the classical Europe, he went to work in the United States instead under star chef Scott Boswell of Stella! Meanwhile, he also received professional recognition from the American Culinary Federation that allowed him to stage at America finest restaurants.
To further his skills in culinary arts, Balbi spent over five years training in Japan, learning new techniques from the country’s best masters. He spent an extensive amount of time working and training at a number of restaurants, such as Zurriola (two-Michelin-starred) with Seiichi Honda, Nihonryori Ryugin (three-Michelin-starred) with Seiji Yamamoto, and Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros (two-Michelin-starred) with Guillaume Bracaval. His dedication to Japanese food and culture was recognised in 2015, when he was selected as one of the top 10 Japan San Pellegrino Young Chef (under 30) being the only foreigner.
In Hong Kong together with grand chef Hideaki Matsuo of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Kashiwaya in Osaka, they had created HAKU that marries harmoniously premium Japanese produce with Chef Balbi’s Spanish heritage.
THE PURSUIT OF NEW EXPERIENCES & LEARNINGS
It’s no secret the complexity and connection that food can bring. It’s a careful blending of science, art, and culture. At Haku, we come from an eclectic background and have long recognized the value of cross-industry and cross-cultural collaboration. We’re constantly seeking unexpected and interesting opportunities to create defining moments that allow us to learn from friends old and new as well as provide a memorable experience for our guests.
“Haku” – Things From Abroad
Haku is Japanese at heart with global influences, inspired by the four seasons and our natural environment. Haku unleashes its creativity by pushing limits using unexpected flavour combinations and innovative cooking techniques.
The cuisine at Haku is a result of Chef Agustin Balbi’s memories focused on Spanish cuisine merged with his experience in Japan. The result is a strong and unique creative identity. At Haku, our main source of inspiration is the seasons and as nature changes, using and highlighting the best ingredients available at the time. We focus on offering an exceptional dining experience to our guests through our unique way of cooking and our special wine and sake selection from around the globe. Haku also collaborates closely with passionate professionals and artisans, farmers, fishermen, butchers, wine and sake makers, ceramic artisans; supporting the young and upcoming to those upholding and continuing the family legacy.