The Au Co’s cuisine embraces the ancient Taoist belief of balance and harmony. In order to attain perfect health the five elements of WOOD, FIRE, EARTH, METAL and WATER need to be in absolute harmony within us. These elements are incorporated into Taoist healing through a proper diet, correct movement, positive relationships with others and living in harmony with our environment.
Mr. Yim Chong Hing, Pre-Opening General Manager of The Au Co, tells us more about the Au Co’s cuisine.
• The Au Co, the most luxurious cruise in the Gulf of Tonkin, aims to be the cruise of superlatives. How does the Taoist Five Elements Concept into its cuisine to make it an experience not be missed?
Well, each of these five elements has a specific association with cooking methods, flavors, color, ingredients and corresponding seasons. The Au Co cuisine is designed according to this philosophy.
• Let’s start with the first element: Wood. How does this relate to the cuisine?
In springtime, wood represents a miraculous burst of energy. The color of the wood element is green, its flavor sour, and the associated organs are gall bladder and liver.
• Fire is supposed to be the element of summer, season of many fruits and vegetables. How does this element translate to the Au Co dining experience?
You’re right; during the summer life is at its most expansive and is a complete manifestation. Summer’s element is fire and the associated color is red. The flavor is bitter, and the energy of fire is connected to the heart and small intestine.
• Then, the sweet flavor must be the element of …?
… Earth, the third of the five elements. During late summer we experience a distinct shift, a brief pause between the explosive energy of summer and the quiet descent of autumn. The earth offers up all of her great abundance, and it is a time when all of life seems in balance. The earth element is the most stable of the five, its color is yellow, the flavor is sweet, and the associated organs are stomach and spleen.
• What about the Metal element, is that an element in The Au Co’s dining concept?
Certainly, the color of the metal element is white, with a spicy flavor. For example rice belongs to the Metal element, and it is one of Vietnam’s basic foods. Apart from rice, we can also have pasta for the meal. The associated organs are the lungs and large intestine.
• The last element is Water. Very present in popular Asian dishes like soup and noodles right?
Yes. Let’s say Water is part of winter, the dormant season, when the life force burrows deep in the earth’s bosom. It’s a time of replenishing, so that when spring comes, the gathered energy will burst forth with new growth. The color of the water element is black, its flavor salty, and the associated organs are the bladder and kidneys.
This is just an introduction to the concept we applied when creating the menus for The Au Co. We are really expecting to bring to passengers a unique culinary experience onboard.
• Thank you for the interview.