Meat The Chef – Raymond Wong
We all claim to be great chefs ‘at home’ one way or another and there is no greater feeling than showing off your best BBQ skills at the office party or trying that Pinterest recipe you have on your infamous board “Get Cooking Good Looking”. To be great chef takes more than just flipping your pancakes right the first time, so we decided to take a trip behind the scenes to meet with a great chef.
We are excited to share an exclusive interview with a chef who has shown great passion, commitment and is famous for getting your steaks fired up Seafire Steakhouse & Bar.
Tell the readers in summary what was it about the culinary art that first attracted you? Well, I grew up in a food background with my father owning his own Cantonese restaurants in Edinburgh Scotland. I started off as a kitchen porter to make pocket money when I was 15 years old during weekends. A few years after school I also had the opportunity to work as a barman and a waiter of which I hated and I was bad at it. I fell into this career if being a chef by accident. I dropped out of a graphic design college in Aberdeen and I went back home to Edinburgh to figure out what I was going to do with my life as most youngsters would. My mother suggested I try a culinary course at a local college, long story short i found my passion for cooking and my new journey began. The art of cooking came naturally to me and I was exposed to Malaysian, Hong Kong, British and French cuisines which gave me the amazing capabilities to create such unique dishes we see today in Seafire.
What have been the best moments you have experienced as the Chef de Cuisine in Seafire Steakhouse? If I start now you would have to write a whole book! Just to name a few of my best moments, I was nominated best manager of the quarter in 2017, I won ‘The Best Meat specialty Chef’ for the Middle East Pro Chef Awards. My team and I created one of the top 50 best dishes in Dubai Time Out Magazine 2017 and everyone must try the famous ‘savour donuts’ when they visit Seafire. Lastly, a proud moment I cherish is helping a team of culinary students in winning the culinary academy cook off competition.
You mentioned about winning an award as ‘The Best Meat Specialty’ Chef of The Year at the Pro Chef Awards. How important is this kind of recognition to you, personally and professionally? Just being nominated is a great achievement and winning it created a massive confidence boost which allows me to push the bounders of my profession. It really is an honor to represent Atlantis, The Palm and Seafire Steakhouse.
Working in the kitchen requires long hours, passion and commitment. What do you do for fun outside Atlantis? Being around food 12 hours a day makes you gain weight and to control this, I live an active life outside the kitchen. If i am not in the kitchen you will probably find me cycling in Al Qudra, running a Spartan race or being a desert warrior.
Last question, what legacy do you wish to pass on to the next generation of chefs? The legacy I would like to leave the next generation is to teach them the basics of classical culinary cuisine giving them the foundation to express their cooking style in the future. I believe ‘there are no boundary ‘s in cuisine it’s up to you to set the limits’.
We hope this left you inspired to be great chefs at home. Don’t forget to book your spot at the St Patrick’s Day Weekend event to ‘meat’ more of Chef Raymond in person and experience the best of Seafire Steakhouse &Bar