Hong Kong Madame - English

Michelin-starred chef of Hong Kong – Alvin Leung, chef-owner of Bo Innovation

August 31st 2022


by Aude Camus
 

If you think it takes white tablecloths, silver cutlery and polished crystal glasses for a restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star, two-Michelin-starred Bo Innovation will prove you wrong. Owned by English-born Hong Kong-Canadian chef – and tv personality, Alvin Leung, the restaurant has been leading the rise of modern Chinese cuisine with plating up “X-Treme Chinese” cuisine. 

Michelin-starred chef of Hong Kong – Alvin Leung, chef-owner of Bo Innovation
Having just relocated to a new venue in Central’s H Code, Bo Innovation continues to surprise and delight diners with bold creations, and I’ve caught up with “The Demon Chef” to learn more about his cooking philosophy and get a sense of what to expect at Bo Innovation 2.0. 
 


Thanks for taking the time to answer these few questions chef. Can you start by telling me a bit more about your background? Where do you come from and how did you become a chef?

Michelin-starred chef of Hong Kong – Alvin Leung, chef-owner of Bo Innovation
I was born in London and raised in Toronto, but Hong Kong has always been a home to me. I don’t have any formal culinary training. Chef wasn’t exactly a career my family would have supported so despite my obsession for food I studied engineering and started to work as an engineer. The methodical and scientific nature of the engineer job has greatly shaped my culinary style and is one of the reasons why I love experimenting so much today. I’ve been a chef since I moved to Hong Kong in the late 80’s and bought my restaurant here – a speakeasy called “Bo Inosaki” which I renamed “Bo Innovation”. 
 

 
Speaking of your culinary style, you call it “X-treme Chinese cuisine” but can you tell me what is it exactly?

Soup by Andy, a dish from the new Masterpieces menu
Soup by Andy, a dish from the new Masterpieces menu
This culinary style is the results of my years working as an engineer. I break down traditional Chinese food to its bare essence and use it to create new interpretations in modern forms. I keep the core of dishes, but I offer a creative take on by substituting ingredients and cooking methods. I practice innovation but at the end of the day, taste is king. I am using science and experimentations but not smoke and mirrors. 
 


What to expect at the new venue in Central?

Michelin-starred chef of Hong Kong – Alvin Leung, chef-owner of Bo Innovation
The global pandemic has forced me to slow down like I never have before. I am used to constantly being on the go, traveling from country to country for my restaurants or for filming. This gave me the time and mental space to reimagine a menu for Bo, and I spent two years perfecting it. The new ‘Masterpieces’ menu at the new Bo Innovation is the first menu in years that I wholly created myself. Diners are going to notice that. As far as what to expect, the answer is always ‘the unexpected’ 
 


What is the one dish you’ve created that you’re the proudest of?
 
This would be “Sex on the Beach” – an edible condom made of kappa and konjac and filled with ham and honey presented on sand made of powdered shitake mushroom. Not only was this dish memorable, but all the proceeds also went to the AIDS Concern charity. 
 


Where do you find your inspirations from? As a chef who’s seen as a constant innovator, someone who is always pushing the boundaries even further, do you sometimes find it hard to reinvent yourself?

Fish Magic, a dish from the new Masterpieces menu
Fish Magic, a dish from the new Masterpieces menu
Inspiration is everywhere. You don’t need to read a cookbook or eat in another chef’s restaurant to find inspiration. You see something when you are walking down the street and it may give you an idea, you might see the new design of a car and have an idea for a dish. You just need to pay attention. 
 
 

Are accolades such as Michelin stars, being listed in the 50 Best List... important to you?
 
Of course, I care about these accolades. I think all chefs do. But you can’t have them be your main motivation. When you receive an award, you’re proud but then you need to move on and keep creating if you want your guests to constantly have a memorable experience. This is what I care the most about. 
 
 
 
What do you do on a typical day off? 

For me a day off is a game of squash and a meal prepared by my family or friends. It is a treat to have a home cooked meal. 


http://www.boinnovation.com
1/F, 45 Pottinger Street - Central 




 


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