What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I’m a chef by trade. The journey started with courses in Taylor’s College 13 years ago. I have to admit, I wasn’t born in chef whites, but the initial course paved and got me excited in the industry and I have never looked backed. The journey continued with an eight year stint in the heart of the culinary world, London. There, I managed to improve my skills and knowledge in an array of restaurants and hotels. Not content with working only with classical French cuisine, I chose to immerse myself in various other cuisines, including Italian, British, Brazilian Japanese and Malay.
Upon returning to Malaysia, I started a food delivery service in KL offering a different take on lunch deliveries. Our emphasis is to use as much in season and local produce as possible.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best is the ability to break down rigid social structures through food. Everyone eats, whether you have a title before your name or not. And to connect with a person through food, to make them smile, to see a clean plate, to hear constructive feedback, is wonderful. It’s an emotional journey in the kitchen to get to that point, but ever so worth it.
The worst is missing out on social gatherings on the weekends and holidays.
What’s your favourite dish at TR Food Delivery?
They are all my babies, and I love them all. But to choose one would have to be our version of Otak Otak with a Pomelo and Coconut Salad. It’s a symphony of flavours and textures.
What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
On a busy Saturday night service in London, the kitchen was slammed and everyone was running like headless chickens to get meals out. The kitchen porter managed to break the dishwasher and there was an overflow of soapy water on the floor. The head chef was on the pass shouting for food to plate. A sous chef turned off the gas on my stovetops and oven as a prank, and in walks the restaurant manager who spotted a highly acclaimed food critic being seated to dine. It was carnage!
The perfect day off would be…
… someone cooking for me.
A day in the life of a chef is…
… ever changing and never the same from day to day! With the right attitude and team, its a an awesome roller coaster.
What do you do for fun?
I’ve recently started running for a bit of my time. So far so good, and I have enrolled myself to a few marathons in the near future which I’m excited about.
What’s something you’d like readers to know about chefs?
The life of a chef is like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. It’s ever demanding, physically and emotionally, and yet highly rewarding.
Also, rule of thumb “if you can’t afford the tip, you cant afford to eat out”
What’s your view on the food scene in KL?
The hospitality industry in this country has been somewhat underrated for awhile, but with the current emergence of great talents, both foreign and local, I believe that the food scene is definitely on the rise and perhaps one day be on par with the likes of Sydney and Singapore. It’s a great time to be here as a chef and be a part of it. It’s one of the reasons I chose to come home.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
Dishing out awesome and exciting lunches for our delivery service. We have approached a few local producers, and we’re excited about the direction of our meals in the future. Besides TR Food Delivery, there are a few projects coming up our way and it will be an exciting 2017. Stay tuned!