This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
TIM HO WAN B


Pan fried carrot cake: one of the brand’s “Big Four”


For chef Mak Kwai Pui, skilled staff are vital


Vermicelli roll with pig’s liver: a “heavenly” dish


“Everyone has to work as a team to


test the items to make sure something’s tasty and


acceptable. Only then can a new item be put on the menu”


and shrimp in an egg roll, he might add egg white and vegetables to improve the dish’s taste and texture. Moreover, each menu item is prepared fresh to order, and every member of Mak’s team of highly-trained chefs is required to consistently use the same high-quality ingredients as their colleagues, no matter in what country their restaurant is located. “In every restaurant, before start-up, I go and investigate the ingredients and the market and what’s available for us to use,” the chef says. “The food at every restaurant must have the same quality taste, so I’m very strict about my recipes. Chefs need to follow the recipes and use the same quality ingredients – or something very close. I will even go and fi nd the local chicken and pork and taste these to check that they will achieve the results I want. I’m not worried about the chefs as they are all trained to a high level and are very skilled; it’s the ingredients that are key.” These standards and the commitment to consistency means the scope for creativity for any Tim Ho Wan chef comes purely through incorporating a few local twists into the menu. “I want to make sure all the products are consistent throughout my stores,” Mak emphasises. “However, there is a bit of room for localised menu items.” For instance, in Taiwan, Mak has worked with the restaurant’s chef to come up with a few items that incorporate fresh bamboo shoots, a local speciality. “Everyone has to work as a team to test the items and do all the checks to make sure


For more go to foodserviceconsultant.org


something’s tasty and acceptable. Only then can a new item be put on the menu,” he explains. This thoroughness – on and off the menu – is something that’s been key for the Michelin-starred chef ever since he branched out on his own after a stint at Lung King Heen, the prestigious Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong’s Four Seasons hotel. “At the beginning, I used consultants to help me design the workfl ow and layout of the kitchen, as well as helping with equipment choices and deciding where to place the equipment,” he recalls. “When you build a kitchen, the design is a very important piece of work because if it’s not right from the beginning, you’ll only have trouble in the end. Actually, it’s partly the life and death of your restaurant!”


And so is the skill needed to use a traditional Chinese wok: “This is the one piece of equipment I couldn’t live without,” he grins. “It’s a great skill to know how to use it, as you need to know how to control the time and the temperature. I use it to teach my trainees the techniques of Chinese cooking. It’s very representative of that style of food.” So what’s next for the chef who humbly says he only got into cooking because he had no choice (“My whole family are cooks; I just kind of followed the family tradition.”) but has worked his way up the culinary ladder? “My next move is toward the US, and then to Europe; I really want to spread the traditional Cantonese dim sum culture all around the world, except maybe to the North and South Poles.”


75


SPECIAL THANKS TO CLARA PI FCSI FOR TRANSLATING THE INTERVIEW WITH CHEF MAK


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84