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Dish imagined by chef Robin Zavou for Krug x Mushroom

Mandarin Oriental

Hong Kong

With experience shaping and leading Michelin-starred and Rosette-winning teams, he now leads the Mandarin Oriental's culinary direction including 10 highly individualistic and renowned restaurants and bars, three of which boast Michelin stars, and the hotel’s catering programme. 

Cooking is the most rewarding of crafts

Robin Zavou

Portrait of Robin Zavou for Krug x Mushroom

“Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness”. Where did your passion for cooking originate? Have you all always understood that food would be part of your future?

It appears we all have similar tales to tell! I was interested in cooking as early as eight or nine years old. I used to help my grandma make pastry at Christmas. I remember her making it by hand – not with a machine as is done now. Maybe it is through rose-tinted spectacles, but I remember her pastry was lighter than anything I make now.

We mentioned earlier that the mushroom in Asia is not seen as a luxurious ingredient, but given your rich understanding of cuisine do you agree?

Mushrooms have varied appeal. The most undervalued mushroom of all is the humble button mushroom; it is perfect for sauces. My personal favourite is the cep, for its earthy f lavour and great texture. Every mushroom has a different taste, f lavour and texture so I would say mushrooms are neither humble nor luxurious – just versatile!

There are a myriad of ways to enhance the flavour of the mushroom but what do you believe is the secret to getting the most from fungi?


The porousness of mushrooms like ceps makes them unsuitable to wash, so the best way to clean them is to brush or gently rub any dirt off with a cloth and cold water. A hot pan, olive oil, a slice of garlic and some unsalted butter are your best friends when cooking mushrooms.

And in a more informal setting? If you’re cooking mushrooms at home for yourself or your friends how do you like to prepare them?


Personally I like to pickle them, it is possible to do this with many kinds of mushroom. Their earthiness in combination with the acidity of the brine pairs beautifully with pate or cheese.

And to finish....Krug for breakfast, lunch, aperitif or nightcap?

I like to pour myself a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée on a Sunday morning, when the kids are playing and I am cooking for the family, that has a special feel about it. 

Krug Ambassade Uwe Opocensky Mandarin Oriental Krug room
Dish imagined by chef Robin Zavou for Krug x Mushroom
Detail of Krug x Mushroom dish imagined by Robin Zavou
Mandarin Oriental
Hong Kong

5 Connaught Rd Central

+852 2522 0111‎
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They welcome you heartily.
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