Born in Argentina to an Italian family, Chef Agustin Balbi was exposed to a variety of cuisines from a young age and began his road into culinary arts at the age of just 15. Balbi began his career working in some of the most highly acclaimed restaurants in Buenos Aires while studying in one of the worlds’ best culinary schools, The BUE Trainers. This marked the start of his culinary career on the international stage, where he has won numerous awards, including Hong Kong Best New Chef 2016 by Hong Kong Tatler.
Chef Balbi’s gastronomic journey has spanned the globe, with experience in the West and the East, and both the Southern and Northern hemispheres. Before coming to Asia, Balbi worked in the United States, this provided him with experience in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants including Le Bernardin (three-Michelin-starred) in New York. Meanwhile, he also received professional recognition from the Culinary Institute of America and American Culinary Federation.
To further his skills in culinary arts, Balbi spent over five years training in Japan, learning new techniques from the country’s best masters. He spent an extensive amount of time working and training at a number of restaurants, such as Zurriola (two-Michelin-starred) with Seiichi Honda, Nihonryori Ryugin (three-Michelin-starred) with Seiji Yamamoto, and Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros (two-Michelin-starred) with Guillaume Bracaval. His dedication to Japanese food and culture was recognised in 2015, when he was selected as one of the top 10 Japan San Pellegrino Young Chef (under 30).
With a wealth of experience in both Western and Asian cuisines, Chef Balbi brings Hong Kong an exciting new culinary concept, where creativity is key and premium ingredients take centre stage. Together with the culinary geniuses Hideaki Matsuo, grand chef of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Kashiwaya, Balbi has created the new eclectic and innovative Japanese culinary concept, HAKU.
Chef Balbi’s impressive culinary skills are on full display as he masterfully combines Eastern and Western techniques to create innovative dishes using the finest ingredients.