catering CHEF’S SPECIAL
Kwan Yu Lee Head chef Opium
Hope Street, Glasgow www.opiumrestaurant.co.uk
Head chef returns to Perthshire hotel
Located in the heart of Glasgow city centre, Opium specialises in oriental fusion cuisine offering a mix of traditional dim sum and fusion dishes. The menu is inspired by flavours from China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
How long have you been in the catering business? I started working in a busy restaurant kitchen in Hong Kong at the age of 14. I have been in the catering business for 36 years now.
What’s your career highlight so far?
Being told by tourists from China my dishes are more delicious than what they can eat back home.
Describe your own food? Our menu is inspired by the intoxicating variety of tastes and flavours from China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
What’s the price of a typical three- course meal (without wine)? Around £28.
Why should someone visit your restaurant?
Customers who have wined and dined at Opium have said it is like being transported into another place and time, as if all their troubles have been left behind.
Describe your staff Our front of house staff are attentive and friendly without being overbearing. Our kitchen staff are professional, well-trained and strive to be the best.
What’s your favourite dish to cook at home? Thai green curry.
Is there any food you dislike? Apart from yam, I am a food fan.
What’s your favourite wine? Probably a nice Pinot Grigio Rose.
Not counting your own, which is your favourite Scottish restaurant?
Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond.
What’s your favourite Scottish ingredient?
The local beef is second to none.
What makes a good chef? Passion, creativity, a depth of knowledge, skill, organisation and commitment.
What’s a tip every chef should know?
Get the seasoning and cooking time just right.
Who do you admire in the industry and why? Hard working chefs who shy away from the spotlight, who are more comfortable just getting on with it.
How do you relax outside of work?
I like pottering around the house or making soup for my daughter.
Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?
Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democracy leader. I am drawn to her fearlessness and defiance to fight for what she believes in.
What makes you (or has made you) laugh in the kitchen? After work, the kitchen staff like to compete with the front of house staff to see which team can eat the most dim sum.
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HEF Peter Woods’ career has gone full circle after he returned to head up the kitchen at The Four Season Hotel in Perthshire. Peter has returned to the banks of Loch Earn to reprise a role he held between 2006 and 2008, following a four-year spell working on Skye and in Inverness-shire.
Appointed to run the kitchen of the hotel’s fine-dining Meall Reamhar restaurant and Tarken bistro, Peter plans to change his menus every quarter to reflect the best seasonal local produce available. Taking his ‘source local’ philosophy a step further, Peter smokes his own salmon in a smokehouse he has set up at his home in Comrie and supplies a whisky and lemon-cured Shetland salmon to The Four Seasons Hotel. “It is a dream come true for any modern chef to be tasked with sourcing the very best local, seasonal
Peter Woods’ career goes full circle at Four Seasons C
Peter Woods aims to focus on seasonal produce.
produce Perthshire and Scotland’s fantastic natural larder has to offer – not just the cheapest,” he said.
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