Chipped And Chopped Chef Anthony Huang Executive Chef Sheraton Grand
Chef Anthony Huang is the Executive Chef at Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway. He takes us through his childhood and how he became a chef, a career that has held him in good stead for 22 years. In conversation with Explocity.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Bangalore
What led you to becoming a chef?
Because I didn’t grow up rich, it meant helping out with the family business, food - in the form of a small catering and restaurant business. Working in the kitchen became second nature to me. Both sides of my grandparents were also in the business of food when they were in China, my paternal grandmother used to be a wedding caterer in the Mei Xian Province and my maternal grandmother who is 90 years old today was famous for her roast suckling pigs.
Like all kids, I was a pilot one day, a veterinarian the next and a farmer the third. Because of my upbringing, hotel management was the logical choice. I went running to Christ College to see if I would get admission. Unfortunately admissions were closed and the priest at the counter just asked me to leave my application and would call me in case there were dropouts. I was overjoyed the next day when someone from Christ came home and asked me to meet the Principal the next day. There was no looking back.
Then came The Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development to Bangalore. They chipped and chopped all my rough edges and made me what I am today. I feel fortunate to have been the first educated chef of the family. Destiny has been kind to me.
How long have you been a chef?
22 years. Since 1996.
What is your ideal Valentine’s Day meal?
As boring and as clichéd as it may sound , nothing gives me more joy than sitting and having a meal at home with my family and daughter Avril or at most, a meal in a restaurant near home.
Are caviar and oysters actually aphrodisiacs according to you?
At the time I pay the bill YES. Otherwise it’s just another food ingredient to me. In my mind it’s all about how it has been set up and presented.
I just know one thing for sure that good honest food works for me, I’m not the type who follows the crowd.
What do you enjoy more? Cooking or creating?
Both – greatly depends on my company at that point of time. There are some of my colleagues with whom I love to cook and some who I love creating with. That’s the beauty of being a chef. All craftsmen have a different skill set.
Do you feel there is virtue in preserving the authenticity of cuisine?
Absolutely. This is a no brainer.
What dish do you like eating the most?
I am generally a moody eater and it all depends on my moods. I don’t have a particular favourite, but everything from the sea keeps me happy most of the time.
What’s your least favourite dish?
Broccoli. Hands down.
How long have you been in Bangalore?
I’m a thoroughbred Bangalorean and have spent my entire life here. I love it here.