Lockdown diaries: Hong Kong chefs’ favourite kitchen tools and dinner recipes

Gregoire Michaud Bakehouse Hong Kong Chefs
Credit: Bakehouse

Under Hong Kong’s third wave, we’ve been checking in with our #legend friends to see how they’re spending their days under “lockdown” (see part 1 and part 2) – a term used loosely since we’ve luckily not had to be formally locked down.

With the bars closed (see bartenders‘ lockdown diaries) and many of us staying at home to curb the spread of COVID-19, we now turn our attention to the chefs from Bakehouse, Yakinikumafia and Aria Italian to give us a taste of their daily lives, Netflix addictions and some handy tips in the kitchen.


Chef Gregoire Michaud of Bakehouse

Go-to breakfast:

Croissant and cappuccino at Bakehouse!

Fave kitchen tool:

My cast iron pan

Ingredient you always have at home:

Guerande sea salt

Favourite book:

Traité de boulangerie au levain by Thomas Teffri‑Chambelland

Favorite movie to rewatch:

Cinema Paradiso

Current Netflix addiction:

The Umbrella Academy

Favourite cooking show:

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

What’s on your Spotify playlist:

Cigarettes and Coffee by Otis Redding

First thing you do when you get home:

(Wash my hands) and hug my family

Your ultimate comfort food/snack:

Frozen mangoes 

Easy go-to dinner recipe:

Toasted sourdough fried egg sandwich

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life:

Bread, cheese and cold cuts!

Follow chef Gregoire Michaud and Bakehouse on Instagram


Chef Yohei Yamamoto of Yakinikumafia Hong Kong

Go-to breakfast:

I don’t eat breakfast. I just drink two cups of coffee as I’m doing intermittent fasting now – I only eat from 11am to 5pm.

Fave kitchen tool:

For something large, I like the Josper grill oven with binchotan charcoal because it makes everything tasty in an authentic way.

For smaller tools, I like the vermicular cast iron cooker. This heavy iron pot with a lid helps me cook rice, braise meat and saute vegetables. It looks very stylish as well.

Ingredient you always have at home:

Japanese eggs. Not only are they nutritious, but you can also enjoy eating them in so many ways: raw on rice, boiled, poached, onsen eggs, fried, steamed chawanmushi, etc.

Favorite book:

The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee, Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Favorite movie to rewatch:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – I like the way it expresses the complexity and the simplicity of that feeling of being in love.

Current Netflix addiction:

I don’t have Netflix.

Follow chef Yohei Yamamoto and Yakinikumafia Hong Kong on Instagram


Chef Andrea Zamboni of Aria Italian

Go-to breakfast:

As soon as I wake up, I prepare my espresso ristretto before going about my daily needs. Right before I leave the house, I’ll have another one to get me on the road.

Fave kitchen tool:

My small herbs tweezers. They’re versatile for grabbing herbs and helpful for plating without having to use my bare hands.

Ingredient you always have at home:

A bottle of Franciacorta – I love adding it to my dishes like risotto.

Favorite book:

Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor by Herve This. Although it’s a cookbook without any recipes, it’s probably the first book that helped open up my mind (culinary-wise).

Favorite movie to rewatch:

The Blues Brothers, since it reminds me of my childhood and I love all the actors in it.

Current Netflix addiction:

I’m currently waiting for the next season of Suburra, an Italian TV series about power and politics in modern Rome.

Favorite cooking show:

I regularly watch Chef’s Table as I believe it’s very well-made, but when I’m back home in Italy, I enjoy watching Master Chef with my mum as she is a fan and we comment on the contestant’s dishes together.

What’s on your Spotify playlist:

Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, The Doors, Ramones, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies… I listen to a bit of everything but I have a passion for rock and punk (but I also enjoy classical music and opera). I play the trumpet and sometimes I’ll play along to the music.

First thing you do when you get home:

As soon as I get home, I shower and turn on the music to get some chill time. After that, I’ll review my day and start planning the next one.

Your ultimate comfort food/snack:

A sourdough sandwich with salami always puts me in a good mood as that was my favourite thing to eat as a child. I’ll be creating a special series of sandwiches for takeaway at Aria soon.

Easy go-to dinner recipe:

A nice aglio, olio e peperoncino. It’s so easy to make: while your favourite pasta is boiling, simply fry the garlic in the pan (whether it’s sliced, chopped or crushed) until it’s golden brown, then add the chilli to taste along with a ladle of the cooking water from the pasta. Add a sprinkle of parsley and your aglio, olio e peperoncino is ready to eat.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life:

My mother’s rigatoni with tomato sauce. For me, this dish is the taste of home, which represents happiness and love.

Follow chef Andrea Zamboni and Aria Italian on Instagram


More from our Lockdown Diaries series:

In this Story: #culture / dining