Food & Drink

Malaysian Chef Making It Big in India

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Malaysian chef, Chua Kong Ngiap is an expatriate chef at the Michelin-starred dim-sum house, Yauatcha, in New Delhi. The 45-year-old Malaccan chef has been in the culinary industry for over two decades and cites that discipline and passion were ingredients for those wanting to cook their way to success.

“I loved cooking ever since I was in school. I joined the industry as an apprentice when I was 20. I stayed focused. I knew this is what I wanted to do and that took me to where I am today,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.

Chua recalled his apprenticeship days saying, “The first thing you learned was to wash the pots and take care of the utensils. Working hours was between 10-11 hours a day.”

Chua worked at several five-star hotels in Malaysia before making his way to India, with his longest service (13 years!) being at the Equatorial Hotel. With 25 years of experience, Chua has won the Chinese Culinary Award 2006 in Malaysia and has served and met many high-profiled customers, (notably Bollywood stars) while working in Mumbai.

The father of three started his tenure in India at the Yauatcha Mumbai before being sent to the New Delhi branch when it opened this year. Yauatcha gained a Michelin-star in 2005 and has retained it since.

When asked if it was difficult to adjust his cooking style to suit the local palate, he said there was not much difference.

“The only thing is that here, they prefer the food to be a lot more spicy. We just need to change a little on that and the spices we use.”

On his future plans, Chua said he wanted to learn different kinds of cuisine, especially fusion.

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“The current trend in the industry is fusion. I am keen to learn and try out a fusion of European and Italian flavor with Chinese food,” he said.

“The only way to survive in today’s challenging and competitive world is to continuously push ourselves to new frontiers,” he noted.

Story and quotes from: Bernama

 

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