Gastronomy News Food & Wine

Écriture, the Michelin-starred restaurant, shuts down, leaving its entire staff unemployed. Reasons behind closure.

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina maxime gilbert chiusura ecriture

A still-fluctuating situation in Hong Kong, where tourism struggles to regain lost ground, drops in class, and grapples with a well-known shortage of skilled labor. Among the prominent casualties is Maxime Gilbert's restaurant, Écriture, which closed overnight without explanation.

The News

Tough times, even in Hong Kong: after Haku and Kontrasto, another fine dining establishment shuts its doors without notice. It's none other than the two-star Écriture by chef Maxime Gilbert, a protégé of Yannick Alléno, who personally shared the news on his Instagram account on September 12th:

maxime gilbert chef
Maxime Gilbert piatto

"Today marks the end of a dream, the end of an adventure, where I've met so many incredible people, the fabulous team members who have worked or are working here, the guests who have supported us, the suppliers who have provided us with the best ingredients, and the journalists who have encouraged us with awards and global recognition. Unfortunately, the company I worked for as an employee has suddenly decided to close. I have no idea what the future holds. The only certainty is that the entire team on-site has lost their jobs. I never thought I'd write this, but it's not my decision. I've run this place as if it were my own, even though I'm not the owner, and Écriture will always remain in my heart. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved." The tone of the comments, largely from renowned Asian colleagues, has been along the lines of, "When one door closes, another one opens." Gaggan Anand, in particular, commented from Bangkok, "You deserve better."

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Phones are now silent, and the elevator is disabled on the twenty-sixth floor of H Queen's, despite the restaurant being part of the Le Comptoir group, which has not issued any official statement or responded to inquiries on the matter. After the pandemic-related closures, tourism seemed to be picking up again, but it has consistently fallen short of previous numbers. Furthermore, the industry is said to be operating at only 50% of its potential due to a shortage of labor, caused in part by a decline in vocations and the unpredictability of professionals, who are often tempted to switch careers, even in Asia. Chinese tourists' preferences also seem to have shifted from Michelin-starred restaurants to more casual dining due to the economic crisis, effectively closing the high-end market taps.

Photos from the official restaurant website


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