Good friends often make great collaborators. When chefs Daniel Calvert and Danny Yip met in person for the first time by chance at a restaurant in Kyoto in 2018, Calvert was already a regular at The Chairman, Yip’s renowned Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong’s Central district.

“The first meal that I ever had in Hong Kong was at The Chairman,” Calvert recalls. “I sat at the table by the door and had the flower crab. It was perfect.”

The experience marked Calvert’s 2016 arrival in the city as the new head chef of the trendy neo-bistro Belon, where he worked for nearly five years. In 2020, he moved to Tokyo to launch Sezanne, the acclaimed contemporary French restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel Marunouchi. Nearly a decade later, Calvert, 36, still remembers the flavor of The Chairman’s steamed crab ladled with aged Shaoxing wine and finished with chicken oil.