World of Watches had the privilege of meeting two great chefs who come to Wok the World with their culinary expertise. Wok the World is one of the newest additions to the popular variety of Korean food shows. Featuring Alvin Leong, a 3-star "Michelin Demon Chef" and Masterchef Canada Season 1 winner Eric Chong, the show will travel throughout Asia to inspire each local culture. before the two chefs modify their own gastronomic creations. The two chefs will be accompanied by Maurice Lacroix, the official timekeeper, who will each show their creativity, their cooking skills and, above all, their precision.
Interview with Michelin-starred chef Alvin Leong
You have been trained as an engineer. What brought you to the culinary world?
I'm thinking of food. I love to eat. I think it's always a good reason because you can always cook for yourself and your family. I started relatively late, but I was lucky. I've had quite a success in a short time as a chef. The change of chief engineer was not very important to me. First of all, everyone loves to eat, no matter whether you are an engineer or a cook. Secondly, engineers are very creative and chefs can be too because, nowadays, people want new things. And above all, in the creation of new things; It's not like the art where you create something and people watch it once, get excited, go away and come back to watch it. Food is something you eat every day. So you have to be much more practical in your approach. It means that you can create something new but that it has to be comfortable. The food is not like a movie. So I think the practical side of an engineer applies to the kitchen. Everything around us is the result of the innovation of an engineer. If you look at it that way, the engineers are very creative people, but what they create is also very practical and comfortable, and that's what the food should be too.
Known as the Demon Chief, how / where do you find inspiration for your creative cuisine such as the famous edible condoms on a mushroom beach?
Everywhere. I think if you can get inspiration from everywhere, it will give you a much larger library. Nowadays, you have a phone, you Google when you need information. But the problem is that you only have Google when you need information, not inspiration – they are different. The information is something very concrete, it has been written and it has already been done before. The inspiration is something that is not here now.
I would say that visual things excite me. So I look at things around me to inspire me; say the color red, and I think strawberries, black and chocolate. I am therefore looking to inspire everything in life. There are also other things that inspire me, not just about cooking, but allowing me to continue. Sometimes, when I look at very diligent leaders, it inspires me to work harder! I am naturally born lazy, so there are many things that could inspire me. But what holds me most important is success. I am very practical. There are many things that I want to be – I wanted to be an actor, a musician and an athlete but I know that I will not be the best, but I like to keep it as a hobby. What I do now (cooking), I love to do, but I'm serious too. There is a difference between a hobby, a passion and something serious you want to do with your life.
"Success is the main reason that moves me forward"
If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
Some people will say something spiritual, but spiritual does not feed me. Being very practical, I would say it has to be more than one thing: I have to have protein, fiber, etc. So I would say soup. The soup contains meat, carbohydrates and vegetables and contains everything that is essential. I also like the comfort of warmth.
A favorite soup in particular?
The one my wife makes.
What is the best and worst of the owners of a Michelin starred restaurant?
The best thing about owning a Michelin star is that you have achieved and achieved the highest possible honor. It's the Oscar of the culinary world. But as my friend once said, you can only get out of here. You have reached the top and you only have one path left. But I do not see that as a bad thing. I am one of the few self-taught chefs. And then, I started with two stars, I went down to a star, then to two, then three. Life is not just roses and sometimes, if something bad happens to you, you learn from it. If you kiss it, you can go back up. So the good thing about this is that it is an honor and I won it. Michelin is an honor and above all, it is recognized by one of the oldest authorities of the culinary world. People hear about Michelin-starred restaurants and want to go to restaurants. The bad thing about this is that people come with a perceived expectation. And you can never meet expectations and make them happy, you can only go beyond them. It's human nature. We come, we wait, we receive – it does not make us happy. We are just satisfied. The human spirit is an avid one. So, I guess that's the flip side for me.
Interview with a friend of the luxury watch brand Maurice Lacroix and the winner of Masterchef Canada, season 1, Eric Chong
What prompted you to join MasterChef?
Growing up, I was very fat, I loved food very much and my grandfather was a chef. So, growing up, I always have good food around me. My grandfather and my mother are extraordinary cooks. I grew up well while eating, my parents spoiled me and I became tired of depending on eating my parents' foods. food; I want to do it myself. I have therefore started at the age of six. My grandfather taught me how to make dumplings. So I bent dim sum at the age of six and from there I fell in love with the kitchen.
Of course, being of Asian descent, my family wanted me to look like a doctor or an engineer. So I found myself a chemistry engineer, but when the MasterChef competition took place, I had the chance to win.
You were the youngest MasterChef winner at the time. What do you think is the best and the worst thing about it?
I think that being the youngest to win the Masterchef has advantages and disadvantages. The benefits are to have a very long life from there, to take advantage of what you have just achieved and to get something out of it. You have so much time to grow and develop and succeed. I never thought of victory as follows: "Oh, I've reached such a high peak," I just thought it was a great way to get in the door; in the culinary world. Without that, it would probably take me 10 years to reach my current level.
The downside would be the difficulty of getting people respect at such a young age. It's hard to be such a boss and owner, because people have been working in this industry for almost as long as I'm alive and working for me, so it's kind of like a power struggle.
"Winning MasterChef was the number one dream. Now that I've overcome this, my next goal would be to open a gourmet restaurant and to be as creative as I want it to be, "
What are some of the things you have planned for the future that you have not accomplished?
I always want to open a gourmet restaurant. At present, my restaurant in Toronto is rather casual, with about 85 seats. Winning MasterChef was the number one dream. Now that I have conquered it, my next goal would be to become a gourmet restaurant and to be as creative as I want, fewer seats – maybe 20 seats, and do like a tasting menu where name for myself . Because only gourmet restaurants seem to put them on the map.
What is your number 1 rule as a leader and why?
My number one rule is coherence, according to which you can reproduce the dish exactly the same way a hundred times. As an engineer, I try to make things efficient and logical and I am very precise. All my recipes are weighed per gram. Some people use cups and spoons but I literally weigh everything to make it as accurate as possible. I want to reduce as much as possible the human error. Many people do not think about it, but when you come to my restaurant, a new cook has to cook a dish as good as me. You should not be able to know who made this dish. It should have exactly the same taste.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
It would have to be lobster. I love lobsters. I do not even like it because it's expensive; I liked it before it became expensive. It's one of the most versatile seafood. You can use it in pasta and soups, as well as in biscuits and stir-fries. Almost all kitchens have a way of using lobster. I like everything about meat, texture, shell has a taste, even the most tasteful head.