Chef de Partie, Alan Wong's Honolulu
(featured in the upcoming "Girls Night In" Next Generation Dinner)
on September 17, 2014)
What was the inspiration behind your Shrimp and Chicken Lumpia "Mille-Feuille"?
The inspiration was from my mom. I miss her so much. My family lives in California. She's the one who taught me how to cook lumpia, and I decided to refine and elevate it by using a "mille-feuille" technique. In French, "mille-feuille" means "a thousand leaves." Classically, it is a dessert where puff pastry is stacked and layered with some kind of filling. Mine is a savory version.
What inspired you to become a chef?
Mostly watching my parents in the kitchen growing up is what inspired me to want to cook. Both of my parents are great cooks. Though several of my favorite dishes to make (like chicken adobo and lumpia) come from my mom, my dad cooked more in our house since my mom was always working.
What motivates you to keep working in the kitchen?
I love seeing people happy, and enjoying the food I've created. It gives me a sense of pride in my work.
What do you love most about working at Alan Wong's Restaurants?
I love working here because of the people I work with. I love my coworkers and team in the kitchen. This is a place where I am able to learn something different and new everyday - whether it is something about myself, other poeple, or about cooking and food. The greatest lessons I've learned from working here are discipline and patience. I have cultivated a sense of discipline as I've learned to pay closer attention to everything that I do. I have become more patient as I have learned how to work with a diverse group of people.