Way Back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s I would frequently journey to Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. In addition there were the occasional trips to Taiwan and China.

I travelled in support of Canadian Trade Missions. I would collaborate with prominent hotels in those countries. The hotels would host a Canadian Food Fair which would feature food & beverage products from Canada. The Canadian Companies were looking to create opportunities to build or expand their export markets.

Obviously I had a generous ‘expense allowance’ and in conjunction with my clients I manage to host a few memorable evenings where the local chefs and local traders would gather for a celebration of Canadian Food.

The photograph below was taken at the Hong Kong Westin before it became the Shangri La. Mark Hellbach was Chef. On the right of the photo you will see the Traders from Dah Chong Hong and gathered to their left are the highly respected and dignified Chefs of Les Toques Blanches!

Looking at this photograph, a day or two later, a few of us declared that the America West would never have been won were it left to this bunch of cowboys. As I best recall we gave the celebrity Chefs their own Cowboy Handles.


Here are a few that I can remember:

Alberta Beef Promo Dinner for Hong Kong Chefs 1988
Maurice O’Flynn, the Alberta Cowboy, Executive Director, Alberta Culinary Arts Foundation. Seated Center.
Jurg Blaser, the Rhinestone Cowboy, Chef, Regent Hotel, Kowloon. Standing behind Maurice.
Roland Sager, Cool Hand Luke, Chef, Furama Intercontinental Hotel, Hong Kong. Standing right of Jurg.
Francois Crozet, the Moonstruck Cowboy, Chef, the Hong Kong Hotel, Kowloon. Standing left of Jurg.
Mark Hellbach, the Whimsical Cowboy, Chef, the Westin Hotel, Kowloon. Seated last on left.
Heinz Egli, the Midnight Cowboy, Chef, the Victoria Hotel, Central. Standing left of Mark.
Peter Schoch, the Elegant Cowboy, Sous Chef, The Westin Hotel, Kowloon. Standing last on left.