Book Your Ticket to Asia - with Stopovers in Europe and India. Be Hungry.

Even with all the glitz and glam in the Mandarin Oriental ballroom during the LUCKYRICE Grand Feast—a who’s-who Asian culinary event that for the past two years this food writer has circled with a fat marker on his packed spring calendar—it really all comes back to the traditional recipes, passed down from generation to generation. Assam laksa, lobster dumplings, ginger chicken salad and smoked fish wrapped in shiso leaves—dishes whose provenance begins in Japan, Thailand, India, Macau and points beyond. But with a diverse range of world class chefs offering their inventive spins on these classics, it is obvious from the first sight of Wagyu beef cheek or rice pudding with Champagne mangos and an orange tuile with jasmine gelee, the cooking is hardly rustic and homespun.

The 2012 lineup includes Ming Tsai, Todd English, David Thompson and Jehangir Mehta. “It is a dish which is extremely popular on the streets of Bombay,” says Mehta of the “crossover” pork dumpling chaat he will be serving.Ming Tsai, fresh from a trip to China, will be using a traditional Chinese technique to make a Red Roast Duck.  By tossing it with crispy rice cake and serving it on gingered spaghetti squash, he'll be putting his own textural touches on the dish. And, since you can't just stop there, he's adding a sambal-lime purée because "everything is better with sambal" and the lime helps to cut the richness of the duck.

Ian Kittichai runs restaurants in Bangkok, Mumbai and New York City and will be representing with a crispy turmeric crepe prepared with wok-sautéed pulled barbecue pork or chicken and an assortment of fixings: chives, shredded coconut, cilantro, bean curd and preserved daikon. He calls his crepe a “playful, personal twist” and reassures us that is to be eaten with your hands, ideal for a walk-around tasting. Plates are for suckers!

Perry St chef Cedric Vongerichten, a man with the famous last name and plenty of personal cred, is serving a peekytoe crab dumpling with spring peas and a ginger carrot broth. “The dish represents my style of cooking with simplicity, the freshest ingredients and high-impact flavor combination,” he says.

David Wong is the founder of Macau Culinary Association, an organization that strives to spread that gospel about Macanese food and culture. The two dishes he’s serving—African chicken and Lisbon egg tarts—points to Macau as a place where an amalgam of African, Indian, Malaysian and Portuguese flavors reside. “This chicken is a result of borrowing ideas from Africa, with spices from Angola and Mozambique,” he says of the bird laced with coconut, peanuts, paprika, chili and red bell peppers.

The tart is a small round flaky pastry tart filled with a sweet egg cream. Indeed, you must save room for dessert at the Grand Feast.

-- Matt Rodbard




Asiate Sticky Rice Ball with Kimchi Ketchup

Betel Adam Woodfield

Bosie Tea Parlour Assorted teas and macarons

Buddakan Edamame Dumplings with a Shallot-Sauternes Broth

Monica Caha Selections

Austrian Wines

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte


Ember Room Ian Kittichai

EN Japanaese Brasserie Beef Tataki with Kinpira Gobo

Todd English

Gramercy Tavern

The Hurricane Club Craig Koketsu Crispy Chinese Sausage Rice Cakes with Broken Chili Sauce

Junoon Lotus Root 3 Ways; Rhubarb Lassi

Lee Susur Lee Hong Kong Shrimp Taro Toast

Teresa Lin for Taiwan

Mehtaphor Jehangir Mehta Pork Dumpling Chaat

Morimoto Masaharu Morimoto Spicy King Crab

New York Mutual Trading Sake and Shochu Selections

Perry St. Cedric Vongerichten Peekytoe Crab Dumplings, Market Peas, Spicy Ginger Carrot Broth

Public Brad Farmerie Pig blood popsicles; Smoked coconut laksa with crab and crustacean oil

Singha Beer

Suntory Japanese Whisky

David Thompson for Bombay Sapphire

Cured hamachi, amberjack with lemongrass and lime on betel leaves

Ming Tsai for Kyocera Red Roast Duck with Crispy Rice on Gingered Spaghetti Squash with a Sambal-Lime Puree

Tulsi Hemant Mathur

Wines of Germany

David Wong for Macau African Chicken, Macanese Egg Tarts

Wong Simpson Wong