The Yum List chats with Herman Lee, chef and co-owner of Extraction SS2.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I’m in charge of the foods as well as the drinks menu of my cafe. I’m from a family of chefs. My mum is a chef, I have two uncles who are also chefs and last but not least, I have a ridiculously good home cook aunty who can cook amazing traditional Chinese food. I have grown up with these great people and food around me and that is how I decided to venture into F&B.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best and worst part of being a chef or a barista I guess is quite simple: when someone really loves your foods and drinks or not.
What’s your favourite meal at Extraction?
As a chef, it is really difficult for me to tell what my favourite meal is. But I guess a simple meal to enjoy with my loved ones will be the best.
What’s one of the craziest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
I think the craziest thing behind the scene would be sometimes when it is so busy, you would not realize you cut yourself until the crowd is over.
The perfect day off would be…
something as simple as watching a really nice movie with my wife in the afternoon, ending the day with a family dinner.
A day in the life of a chef…
is food and recipe testing and constantly striving to make the same old recipe taste better and better.
What do you do for fun?
Besides cooking, singing is also one of my hobbies.
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
A simple half-boiled egg on toast paired with a perfectly smooth cafe latte would be the best.
What’s your view on the cafe scene in Kuala Lumpur?
Many cafes have opened over the past few years in the Klang Valley but not many have lasted. It is sad to see that because I always think that a healthy competition can lead to improvement. In the end, we can produce something better and better for the consumer. Take, for example, Coke and Pepsi, and Mercedes and BMW.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
More breakfast options will be added to the menu to pair with my sourdough. Also, we plan on serving some really good quality filter coffee.