JOUR­NEY TO THE TOP

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Fashionable Life -

Emmilyn Yeoh gets the in­sider’s scoop on Chef Chan Yan Tak, the first Chi­nese chef to gain a three-star Miche­lin rank­ing at the helm of Lung King Heen. The be­gin­ning ... My mother died when I was young. I was the eldest son so I got sent to be a kitchen hand when I was 13. I started from the bot­tom and worked my way up. After 16 years, I de­cided to pack up my chef knives when my wife died. My daugh­ter was only 12 and I didn’t want her to suf­fer the same fate. I im­me­di­ately as­sumed the role of a mother— iron­ing, cook­ing, you name it. The re­birth ... The ho­tel man­ager of Four Sea­sons ini­tially in­vited me to be a con­sul­tant. In the end, he asked where should the head chef’s sta­tion be placed. I then re­alised that he was im­ply­ing that the po­si­tion is mine. In­spi­ra­tions ... Ev­ery­where. My brain is al­ways on work mode, es­pe­cially when I’m eat­ing. When I first pre­sented our pop­u­lar dish of crispy scal­lops,

I ex­per­i­mented with many dif­fer­ent fruits. After rounds of tast­ing, the pear was de­clared the win­ner for its lighter and more re­fresh­ing taste. Culi­nary prin­ci­ples ... A great team makes a great res­tau­rant. We are al­ways open to other peo­ple’s ideas. Many of our cus­tomers are very loyal; they’ve been com­ing here for their weekly dim sum brunch—they are our best as­sets. I make it a point to come out and speak to them from time to time. Com­plex cre­ations ... Most of our dishes go through a se­ries of tech­niques. It could be first steam­ing, flash­fry­ing, and then slow cooked. The tex­ture of the end prod­uct is very cru­cial. Miche­lin sta­tus ... We get booked out months in ad­vance! Per­son­ally, I am still the same chef I was 20 years ago. The Miche­lin Guide has not changed the way we cook, and get­ting the recog­ni­tion was a team ef­fort. We give our del­i­cate touch to ev­ery dish, and we make sure we live up to the pres­tige. Four Sea­sons Ho­tel, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 3196 8888. www.foursea­sons.com/hongkong/din­ing/ restau­rants/lung_k­ing_heen

Lung King Heen trans­lates to “view of the dragon”, a res­tau­rant where din­ers are re­warded with breath­tak­ing har­bour views

Ev­ery dumpling is care­fully crafted by the team of trained ex­perts

The small dumpling hold­ers pre­serve the su­pe­rior soup within the del­i­cate dumplings

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