Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Green Goodness

A proud baker at the launch of the iBakery pop up store
A friend of mine, Chan Chun-wai is a long-time food and travel writer. His Facebook updates show pictures of him traveling all over the place from France to Iran and everywhere in between, which makes many of us envious of his job.

But despite his jet-setting lifestyle he does things for the local community, such as promoting social enterprises and supporting friends who open cafes and shops.

Most recently though he was able to combine his two passions together -- travel and food for a good cause.

He travels to Kyoto frequently, so much so that he has become a Kansai Tourism Ambassador. How you get that status I'm not sure, but seems like a glamorous title.

The green tea cookies produced by iBakery in Hong Kong
Chan often stays at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto and one day the hotel's general manager invited him to try some green tea cookies and Chan though they tasted great, having a strong matcha tea flavour and also there were no preservatives in them.

The GM said that he was interested in promoting the cookies in Hong Kong, but not necessarily for profit, just as a way to make people aware of matcha tea and the cookies from Kyoto.

So Chan said that he'd think about it but didn't come up with an idea right away.

After some weeks of pondering, Chan remembered that he liked to support iBakery, a social enterprise started by Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. The bakery employs people with disabilities (about half of the total staff) to produce a range of cookies to sell.

Food and travel writer Chan Chun-wai thinking green
Then Chan came up with the idea of having iBakery produce the green tea cookies and selling them. Head pastry chef Yasuda Shunji from the Hyatt Regency Kyoto came to Hong Kong to teach the staff at iBakery how to make the cookies, and the matcha also comes from Japan.

The cookies, about eight rectangular pieces per pack are selling for only HK$48, and packaged in a green box with "leaves" on top.

If you're in Hong Kong, there's currently an iBakery pop up shop at 1/F, Windsor House in Causeway Bay which is open from 11am to 9pm.

The cookies have a fantastic intense matcha tea flavour. One or two pieces maximum for me, but great to share with friends and support people who are working hard to become more independent in their lives.


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