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The Best Of Hong Kong
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By Andrea Lo | December 19th, 2017

The Loop HK 30 Under 30 2017

Head Chef, Mercato

Anthony Burd pretty much grew up around food. After watching his Italian grandparents and mother cook from a young age, he got his first job at 11 years old at a local diner. “I worked [in kitchens] throughout high school, then went to The Culinary Institute of America in New York,” he says.

After school, the New Jersey native took a trip to Italy in order to reconnect with his roots. He ended up staying there, working as an executive chef for farm-to-table restaurant Borgo Pignano in Volterra, Tuscany, for over three years.

That job cemented his future in the restaurant industry. “After experiencing some side jobs in construction and landscaping, I realized I’m always the happiest when working in the kitchen — and I knew it was somewhere I would be for the rest of my life,” Burd explains.

“I hope to bring old-school Italian flair to this city, with a creative new world twist.”

Following stints at top restaurants in the US, Burd worked at Marea in New York City, and three years ago was invited by American chef/owner Michael White to work at Al Molo in Hong Kong.

He now works as executive chef with a team of 25 cooks at the kitchen at Mercato. The Italian restaurant marks legendary French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first venture in Hong Kong since now-closed Pierrot, which opened at the Mandarin Oriental in the 1980s. “His reputation for producing Michelin-quality restaurants all around the world is outstanding — he is my mentor, and I work hard to live up to his legacy,” says Burd.

Like any good restaurant worth its salt in Hong Kong, Mercato is all about delivering a top-notch dining experience, with an emphasis on using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Burd is constantly looking to switch up the menu too. “I hope to bring old-school Italian flair to this city, with a creative new world twist — but without compromising the integrity of traditional Italian flavors.”

His role model? “My family and chefs. Growing up my role models were always my parents and my grandparents. I grew up watching my grandparents and parents cook. And chefs who taught me everything they know about cooking… they made me who I am and inspired how I cook today.”