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What makes Hong Kong a great place to cook in?
Hong Kong is one of the most foodie cities in the world to me; there are so many different cultures represented in many thousands of restaurants! Hong Kong's people are such foodies! They bring us an everlasting challenge, as we attempt to surprise and delight them!
What is your favourite thing to cook?
Looking after a boutique, a cafe and a fine dining restaurant means I am cooking nearly everything from an opera cake, an afternoon tea set to a Grand Marnier souffle. It matters very little though–making pastry, no matter what kind, is always more of a pleasure than a job to me!
caramel & chocolate mousse, cocoa shortbread
What is your favourite thing to eat?
There is so much food I love to eat; everything ranging from traditional dim sum to classic steak and fries!
What should people order when they come to your restaurant?
We update our menus according to the seasons. I definitely recommend our in-season tasting menu–it means one can enjoy the freshest French ingredients in their best form. We have gone a step further and designed two versions: one for men who desire beefier dishes while the other boasts lighter delights for the ladies.
What is one of your baking tricks?
Well, making pastry is full of tricks. And tricks are revealed by having deep knowledge of the ingredients. I don't have any special tricks of my own, but I really like creating cakes and elaborate combinations of taste and texture. These tricks are found in the infinite possibilities that the ingredients give me.
light poached meringue hibiscus scent, fresh raspberries, Opalys 33% white chocolate
What do you find most rewarding about cooking in this city?
Making French dessert in a city like Hong Kong is representing my own culture in this multi-cultural city. It's important for me to integrate the local culture's tastes, and the results from customer's feedback are always the most rewarding parts to the job; it's always nice to see diners coming back.
What is the greatest challenge in cooking in this city?
Cooking is a challenge in and of itself. In Hong Kong, it's all about sourcing the freshest and best ingredient and being able to do something high quality with it.
We’re seeing a lot of chefs go local with ingredients for a lot of reasons; as pastry chefs, do you feel like you need to do the same?
Not especially–I only go for the freshest ingredient from where they are best grown/raised no matter where they are from. I mostly use French ingredients like seasonal fruit, dairy products and chocolate. That being said, some of the best ingredients are from all over the place; the best almonds come from Spain, the best pistachios from Iran, and the best vanilla from Tahiti...etc
Tahitian vanilla - via Robin Salant
Where are your favourite places to eat in the world?
My top three in no particular order: France, Italy and Vietnam
What do you think of the desserts in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong desserts are most unique in their look and taste. I do enjoy them but I personally prefers desserts to be a little more sweet. I believe we can create desserts for everyone's taste in Hong Kong at our restaurant.
What are your favourite restaurants in Hong Kong?
Din Tai Fung is definitely the best dim sum in town to me; Nha Trang is my favorite Vietnamese restaurant. I usually eat in Asian restaurants, but I also like Motorino pizzas and French bistros throughout the city.