Pastry chef of the double-star restaurant Caprice at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong, and elected best pastry chef in Hong Kong in 2016 by Tatler magazine, Nicolas Lambert is one of those expatriates who allow France to shine abroad. For, he agreed to open the doors of his personal kitchen where he used to cook with his partner, pastry chef for L'Eclair de Génie in Hong Kong.
Expatriation as an experience
After having chained up prestigious positions such as at the Plaza Athénée alongside Christophe Michalak, Nicolas had taken on the challenge of crossing our borders to improve his English and gain an international experience. This is how the pastry chef was entrusted with the creation of star desserts alongside Fabrice Vulin in the sublime restaurant Caprice which offers a breathtaking view of the bay of Hong Kong. He speaks greedily of tarte tatin which he revisits with excellence and is passionate about his signature dessert, a work of art declined sometimes around raspberry, sometimes blackberry, in different textures. A work of perfection, between know-how and creativity, that the pastry chef generously delivers.
Appropriate a new cuisine
Enthusiastic, he willingly confides to appreciate life in Hong Kong despite the many cultural differences. When he doesn't have his meals before the restaurant service, he enjoys cooking at home. He is fortunate to have a kitchen with beautiful marble worktops, simple but very functional, almost a luxury in Hong Kong where the kitchen is often made with auxiliary furniture and does not have the space necessary to actually cook. . If he particularly likes to cook Japanese, he has also adapted to local cuisine. He also does his shopping in a small neighborhood market where he discovers new products and has appropriated the famous Chinese steam baskets for everyday cooking. As for his partner, she brings a Venezuelan touch to the plates thanks to her origins. Their cuisine is like Hong Kong: cosmopolitan.
When the kitchen moves
What do you take with you when you choose to expatriate? When the couple moved to Hong Kong, they preferred to lighten their suitcases and take only the essentials with them, almost all of which could be purchased locally. The main thing for Nicolas? Favorite objects: his coffee machine which he cannot do without and his crumpled cups Revol but also the Voodoo kitchen knife holder whose knives pierce a fellow, who has followed him in all his adventures for years. Something to feel at home even 9,000 kilometers from France. Crockery, kitchen accessories and others have been bought, as well as small furniture, especially at Ikea which has a store in the city center, a real revolution for the French.
Household appliances: differences
Chinese cuisine does not use baking, so most of the city's kitchens do not have an integrated one. Chez Nicolas therefore has a built-in microwave and he had to add a mini-oven to his work dish in order to prepare pies and cakes. No ultra-sophisticated oven, difficult to find, but a miniature model more suited to Hong Kong kitchens of modest size. The little luxury of Nicolas' cuisine? A wine cellar under the worktop which allows it to keep the chocolate as well as possible. A chef's tip.
Hong Kong constraints
Some constraints easily bypassed: the electrical outlets are not the same, it is necessary to use adapters for European devices. And concerning water, it is preferable to add a filter in order to improve its quality.
Find Nicolas Lambert on his Instagram //www.instagram.com/nicolas_lambert/