1. What advice would you have for someone looking to get into the same role and industry as you?
There is a saying “stay away from the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat”. It is so true because working as a professional chef is not easy. One of the most important attributes to being a chef is to have passion, patience and drive! And determination to achieve your goal. One has to go through a long journey in order to become a professional chef.
2. What have you learnt from your years working in the industry?
Be well prepared for the next challenge all the time and be earnest. Listen sincerely to customers’ feedback and there is always room for improvements.
Keep learning new things, constantly look for new ingredients and flavours, and be open to experiment with various ingredients.
For me, I use not only Chinese ingredients but also like to incorporate produce and ingredients from other cuisines such as Kurobuta pork and teriyaki sauce.
3. What career books would you recommend reading?
Octaphilosophy - The Eight Elements of Restaurant André, by André Chiang
I find the book very inspiring. It is not just a recipe book that shows how to cook, but it also showcases a lot of creativity that goes behind the design of the dishes. The book gave me a lot of inspirations, evoked my creativity and helped me think more outside the box.
Although the author / chef focuses on specialised French cuisine, it gave me new ideas on how I could further present Chinese dishes with a modern twist.
4. What should always be taken seriously?
Team members are very important to me. To be able to work closely and genuinely together, leveraging on the talents of each to maximise and deliver successful results.
5. Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?
Executive Chinese Chef, Dicky To of The Peninsula Tokyo was the first mentor in my career. I learnt my culinary skill set and evolved my passion for food from him. Also the expertise and valuable advice to stay focus and enthusiastic always!
The second one is Chef de Cuisine, Paul Lau of Tin Lung Heen, The Ritz- Carlton Hong Kong. He inspired me on menu designs, how to overcome adversities, staying positive as well as crafting unforgettable dining experiences for the guests.
6. What’s the number one thing you want to achieve in the next five years?
I would like to further promote and raise the social status / reputation of Chinese chefs by continuously contributing to the industry in whatever ways I can.
Continue to train and develop the team to help them expand their knowledge and skill set.
7. What is your favorite Networking conversation starter / ice breaker?
How’s your meal?
8. What is your favorite Hong Kong restaurant(s)?
L’atelier de Joël Robuchon Hong Kong and The Chairman
9. Where is your favorite place to brunch in Hong Kong?
10. What is something you are looking forward to in 2016?
I am really excited to be part of the Man Ho Chinese Restaurant team. As the new Executive Chinese Chef, I’m excited and eager to learn and understand more about our guests and their expectations so that we can continue to deliver an exceptional service and create memorable Chinese gourmet experiences for our guests. I also look forward to enhancing the overall dining experience by introducing new ideas and innovative dishes to the menus.
11. In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame?
Happiness, health, love, fame and money.