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Monday, 15 July 2013

25 years experience. Sam Leong is "The Man behind Modern Chinese Cuisine" in Singapore

Sam, Forest Leong, "The Man behind Modern Chinese Cuisine", biography book launch, Food-O-Phylia, 2013, Singapore, The Art House, 1 Old Parliament Lane
Sam and Forest Leong answering questions during
"The Man behind Modern Chinese Cuisine" biography book launch,
Food-O-Phylia, 2013, Singapore, The Art House, 1 Old Parliament Lane

Eating is one of the basic human needs, one of three key activities in Singapore and great pleasure, even hobby for many people. And with Chinese food being one of the pillars of Asian cuisine, when bowl of steam rice and soup noodles can be found everywhere, in hawker centers next to HDB flats and in high-end restaurants of five star hotels with the view to Marina Bay Sands, it quite natural and expectable for Singapore to have celebrity chefs specializing in Chinese dishes and nested at best luxurious restaurants and residencies. But the journey to the top from family stall to the best equipped modern kitchen was never easy. Chef's Sam Leong biography book, published by Marshall Cavendish, launched within Food-O-Phylia 2013 festival by Art House Singapore, tells us why...

On Saturday 13th of July friends and food lovers gathered at Blue room of The Art House for Malaysian -born Singaporean top-chef Sam Leong's biography book launch. With the more, than 25 years experience at the kitchen, starting learning from cookers at fathers restaurant at the age of 16, today Sam is really "The man behind modern Chinese Cuisine" with experience of work in best Singapore restaurants and hotels. But as he admits at the interview during presentation, the journey was never easy and once becoming a cook, you never have time to rest. So he haven't seen how his children grew up, working without weekends, until 1 am, fully relying onto his wife in children and house care. Looking back today, Sam never regret making cooks career, but says, now it's time to step out and watch children grown up, enjoy life and give his wife her time to realize herself as a teacher. Thai-born, his wife Forest today is successfully conducting cooking classes, gathering people at community centers from all over Singapore. Some of them come to her presentations again and again, just to see which ingredients are in their favorite dishes, that they love to order in restaurants, but will never try to cook at home... And there was difficult time first, when Forest moved from sweet -sauce noodles culture to rice-bowl island, when she was alone at home with kids and had Sam's mother as daily support, but had to give her husband to work, as for Sam work and cooking were always priority... And he only cooked for her twice during all that ages they are together, she is laughing: "Never merry Chinese chef - he cooks one hour, you clean kitchen five after!". It's not like western cuisine chefs, who enjoy cooking and inviting friends for parties home, when they have day off. For children Forest cooks simple pasta, also family has every type of instant noodles at home - Korean, egg, glass... Simply, sometimes they are too tired to go out for dinner. But during travelling they enjoy trying different local food from stalls near by their hotels, no matter, whether it's Italy or China, they don't have preferences, but try to understand the soul of the dish and key ingridients, that make it unique and belonging to particular culture...
To know about and attend other events during festival, please visit page Food-O-Phylia 2013, most of exhibitions are already up and events, panel discussions and book launches are held @ 1 Old Parliament Lane, The Art House.
Read about Michael Podolinsky "Managing, Motivating, Maximazing Teams in Asia" book launch, I attended in January.