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A perfect pitch for the perfect plate of pate

THE Hilton Shanghai has always taken its food and beverages seriously and now offers diners a chance to sample the ultimate in treats, a foie-gras dinner. Aubrey Buckingham savors the moment

For as long as this column has been written, the Hilton Shanghai has taken its food and beverages very seriously, and this policy continues to thrive under the current General Manager Guy Hutchinson.

While the steady hand of veteran French Executive Chef Emmanuel Souliere has ensured that flagship Italian restaurant Leonardo's has been one of the city's best kept secrets, it is the Jing'an District's various food promotions that have really grabbed local foodies' attention.

On Tuesday the luxury hotel will host French Michelin-starred chef Daniel Chambon for a foie-gras dinner.

The five-course menu, featuring the decadent goose liver from French company Rougie, will be cooked by the Lyon native and will be available for the rest of the month after his departure.

Most chefs plump for local foie gras as the delicacy depends greatly on it freshness.

Rougie, however, is known for its flash frozen production line which makes exporting French foie gras as easy as A,B,C.

The company is also committed to developing its activities locally, given the immense popularity of its product, and runs an organically certified farm in northern China, where it controls the breeding, fattening and the slaughter of its ducks.

There are some, however, who frown upon the practice of force feeding ducks and geese.

This is said to be the best way to fatten the livers of the birds, producing that rich, creamy taste and texture that gourmands around the world have come to love.

Given the prevalence of foie gras on local menus, it would seem that such objections are far removed from this city.

The meal begins with foie gras ravioli in truffle chicken broth and diced duck liver. Next, the ubiquitous pan-fried foie gras with apple chutney is given a twist with a lime and port wine sauce.

This is followed by a local touch - sea scallops and prawns with vegetables and local (Yunnan Province) truffles.

Duck breast and foie gras are natural bedfellows, and no French meal would be complete without it.

The meal will then be summed up nicely with a bourbon vanilla creme brulee with raspberry and lemon basil sorbet.

The promotion costs 488 yuan (US$71) plus 15 percent tax, and can be paired with wines from ASC Fine Wines for an extra 188 yuan.

Another dining celebration on the horizon is the South Korean food promotion from February 23 to March 1. Chefs Jun Yeol Kim and Jong Soo will impress diners with an elegant take on their native fare.

The chefs, from the Hilton Millennium Seoul, South Korea, are eager to prove that Korean cuisine transcends the ubiquitous kimchi. Both are seasoned travelers and can best be described as ambassadors for South Korean food.

The fair, at Atrium Cafe, will feature such delights as sea snail salad marinated with tangy, spicy sauce, beef ribs, and seafood bean curd soup.

Lunch during the promotion costs 178 yuan and dinner is 278 yuan. The dishes will also be part of the Sunday brunch, and this costs 288 yuan with a free flow of soft drinks, 328 yuan for soft drinks and a glass of champagne, and 398 yuan for free flowing champagne and soft drinks.

Address: 250 Huashan Rd

Tel: 6248-7777


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