Chef Raymond Wong shares inspirational lifestyle tale
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.
Asian glazed long rib
Short ribs doughnuts