I am in Hong Kong for a week to work on developing The Flying Winemaker a TV show that is about revolutionizing how wine in consumed with Asian food, it’s about travelling through Asia and discovering wine producers that many people don’t even know about in places I can’t even pronounce and then taking the classic and not so classic dishes in these areas and pairing them with affordable and accessible wines. The show is about taking the snobbery out of wine, it doesn’t have to be expensive, aged for decades and from a old world French vineyard to be enjoyed. The show centres around Chinese-Australian host Eddie McDougall who is based in Hong Kong (read about my first meeting with him in the previous post).
Our plan for our time in Hong Kong was to work on the series rundown talking about episodes, locations and all the nitty gritty planning of the program – a meeting of minds to workshop what the show is about and the stories we want to share. We also planned to shoot some vision to use is a sizzle reel which is a short type of trailer to shows networks, distributers, potential sponsors and interested parties what the show is about.
We had a couple of situations set up for our first day of shooting; we tailed Eddie as he appeared as a guest on Hong Kong radio, his program The Morning Brew talks about wine, what he’s drinking, what’s new and different and in this interview also covered the plans for the program we’re making. Phil the host was great in giving us some brilliant promotion and support for the show.
Our next scenario was more to the heart of what is planned for The Flying Winemaker. Eddie met up with local Loretta Cheung in a market in Tsing Yi – what I guess you’d call suburban Hong Kong maybe. It’s a development of mass government housing and a situation that is everyday for thousands of Hong Kong families. Eddie and Loretta explored the local market and gathered ingredients for a family meal. This place was a cameraman’s wet dream, colour and craziness everywhere, strange animals and animals parts, exotic ingredients that are a mystery to the untrained eye, and for a westerner the most mind blowing that makes an Aussie girl cringe but doesn’t even raise an eyebrow here.
Dried everything hung in one store, remnants of what was once a bird of some sort maybe a goose, picked randomness, the preserved eggs we ate the night before covered in dirt, weird and wonderful animals slither, swim and sink in cages and bins. I remember looking down at a packed basket of some kind of animal and realized it was a mountain of frogs all on top of each other pushing for space, my dinner last night, I felt light headed, yuck!
No time to think about it and spin out, the shoot was moving on and with a small crew I was manning the second camera and needed to get overlay shots – vision of the colour and movement of the markets, close ups of what’s available, general shots of people at the market, cutting up fish, packaging up a tasting meal of lungs and liver, hooking up pigs trotters
The market was full on but so intriguing, the ingredients particularly the meat that is eaten here, mind blowing– toto I’m definitely not in Kansas anymore! .
Loretta bought up big for our feast; crabs, liver, prawns, fish, dried mushrooms and oysters, a selection of traditional greens and vegetables, a big bag of clams and we’re ready to head back to her house and get the feast cooking.
The kitchen in Loretta’s house was a buzz, there were tried and true cooking techniques in place that haven’t really changed much during the years and the food was a feast for the senses. Laying it all out on the table and it was a banquet of colours and wafting steam of dishes I had never seen let along tasted, cameras were at the ready getting shots of the glistening shell of a freshly stir fried crab, whole fish covered in veges and spices, a strange pink almost skin coloured concoction of lotus root and of course Eddie brought the wines; a Cava, Pinot Gris and an amazing Tassie pinot nior.
We shot what we need, got Eddie chatting to camera about the wines and the food and then it was time to put the cameras down and pick up some chop sticks! Yum!