Where did you grow up? What led you to becoming a chef? How long have you been a chef?
I was born in 1975 in Guangdong, China. Guangdong is the heart of Canton region. I learned cooking from my family and have grown up eating dim sums as a family activity. I have always enjoyed Cantonese food, especially dim sum, and thus started my career in dim sum making.
Since when have you been a chef?
I began in 1993. Since then I have spent most of my culinary journey working at renowned restaurants and hotels across China, such as Guangzhou Yalongge Hotel, Yuexiu Tian'an Mansion, Harbin San Diego Hotel, Chengdu Mantingfang Restaurant, Chengdu Century City Intercontinental, Wuhan Optical Valley Hilton Hotel and Sichuan Tianlun Group. Today, it gives me immense joy to have achieved 22 years of dim sum making apprenticeship with a flair for modern Cantonese cuisine.
What do you enjoy more? Cooking or creating?
Both go hand in hand. As a chef, we need to keep evolving and learning new cooking techniques. If we will not create, we are merely robots cooking from rote. Creating is more challenging, it means I need to continue to break boundaries in discovering new flavours, new combinations of ingredients and ensuring the customers are happy. And when you finally introduce those flavours to the world, and your customers go home happy, that’s what gives you ultimate happiness.
Do you feel there is virtue in preserving the authenticity of cuisine?
At Yauatcha, we have taken recipes that are thousands of years old, and infused them with modern techniques to appeal to the modern guest. It is important that we remember our roots, and at the same time serve guests something that would appeal to them. It is a fine balance to maintain, and we do our best to ensure that traditional recipes are not forgotten due to modern techniques.
What dish do you like eating the most?
Dim sum are my favourite. They are light to eat and can be anytime of the day. I prefer eating smaller portions, many times a day so dim sum end up being my meal most days.
What’s your least favourite dish?
No least favourite. I like to try all cuisines.