Chef Ray­mond Wong shares in­spi­ra­tional lifestyle tale

Khaleej Times - City Times - - FRONT PAGE - ARTI DANI arti@khalee­j­ How did the idea of short ribs dough­nuts come about?

Ray­mond Wong started his Dubai culi­nary jour­ney at Mad­i­nat Jumeirah Al Qasr Ho­tel at MJ’s steak­house as sous chef then moved to Sher­a­ton be­fore he landed the cov­eted chef de cui­sine po­si­tion at Seafire in At­lantis, the Palm. His BBQ short rib dough­nuts are the stuff that legends are made of. Apart from be­ing a tal­ented chef, he in­spired us by shar­ing how af­ter smok­ing and drink­ing de­te­ri­o­rated his health, he changed his lifestyle by cy­cling to work and lead­ing a healthy lifestyle.

What changes did you bring to Seafire af­ter join­ing?

I started at Seafire in Septem­ber 2016. My first task was to change the menu. I knew this would be a great op­por­tu­nity to show­case my per­son­al­ity and cre­ative style. Stay­ing true to the clas­sic theme of New York steak­house I was able to in­tro­duce new and ex­cit­ing dishes like the BBQ short rib dough­nuts, Asian long rib, beef cheek eggs bene­dict and so on. Th­ese dishes re­flect my Scot­tish-Asian back­ground. Last year when I was the chef de cui­sine of feast Sher­a­ton Grand Dubai, my sig­na­ture Asian steam buns were top sell­ers and I wanted to do some­thing along the lines at Seafire. Steam buns are known to be a com­fort food in Asia so I had to cre­ate a dish which was more true to the theme of New York steak­house so I came up with the hum­ble stuffed dough­nut.

You are very ac­tive in Dubai’s fit­ness scene. Tell us more about it.

I’ve al­ways been into fit­ness ever since I was a young lad but sort of went off the tracks in my mid 20’s be­ing in­tro­duced to smok­ing, drink­ing and a hec­tic work sched­ule as a chef and part-time club DJ. I knew my health was de­te­ri­o­rat­ing so I de­cided to make changes in my lifestyle. I started to com­mute to work on a bi­cy­cle so when I found out there was a cy­cling path at Al Qu­dra that was it for me. Most week­ends I would be up there at 6am with friends. This year I have started to par­tic­i­pate in the Desert War­rior, Spar­tan Runs. Th­ese are roughly 10km runs with ob­sta­cles.

How im­por­tant is stay­ing fit for you?

I be­lieve as a chef con­stantly be­ing sur­rounded by food all day makes it very tempting to con­stantly pick on things es­pe­cially the­ses stuffed dough­nuts… ex­er­cis­ing makes me feel more en­er­getic and fo­cused so I would say it’s very im­por­tant.

How do you re­sist eat­ing/ tast­ing calo­rie rich food while work­ing in a restau­rant?

To be honest work­ing in a steak­house is less tempting to pick on things com­pared to an all-day din­ing restau­rant with dif­fer­ent cuisines. There’s only so much steak one can con­sume. I’ve not re­ally mas­tered the re­sist­ing part yet as I’m still pick­ing away daily.

Must have at Seafire Short rib dough­nuts fol­lowed by the Asian glazed long rib and fin­ish off with set fire dropped cheese­cake.

Dessert plate

Asian glazed long rib

Short ribs dough­nuts

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