Winning a Michelin star for the second consecutive year for the exquisite Cantonese cuisine he creates at Summer Pavilion in The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore was a proud moment for Chinese Executive Chef Cheung Siu Kong, who was inspired by his grandmother. Exquisite Taste talked to him about his work, his inspiration and what this achievement means to him.
E: How important personally and professionally was it to be awarded your Michelin star?
C: The Michelin star has given me the motivation to continually strive to innovate and challenge myself. It has also fuelled my team’s passion for the culinary arts.
E: What influences your dishes?
C: My cooking philosophy is simple. I believe that the key to creating authentic and exquisite Cantonese dishes is through modest cooking techniques that bring out the natural flavours of the ingredients.
E: How do you maintain such incredibly high standards?
C: We conduct regular food tastings and training sessions for both the culinary and service teams of Summer Pavilion, to continuously hone our culinary and service standards.
E: Do you have a favourite signature dish?
C: I feel that dishes with “wok hei” best represent Cantonese cuisine. Incorporating wok hei into dishes is a technique that showcases the chef’s skills, and the aroma also enhances the flavour of the dish. Personally, I really enjoy a simple dish of fried rice, where the wok’s “breath” is essential to add flavour intensity to this classic dish.
E: In a sentence, what’s the best part of your job?
C: The best part of my job is seeing the look of satisfaction on the faces of my guests after enjoying a thoughtfully crafted meal at Summer Pavilion.
E: In a city renowned for excellent Cantonese food, what makes Summer Pavilion stand out?
C: I believe what makes us stand out is the winning combination of personalised service, the authentic taste of our cuisine and the modern contemporary dining ambience at Summer Pavilion.
E: The Singaporean food scene is incredibly vibrant and diverse. How do you see it evolving over the next few years?
C: It appears that the fusion of Western and Eastern cooking techniques and flavours is becoming increasingly well received and I foresee that more people will seek out such innovative dining experiences.
E: Away from the kitchen, what do you enjoy doing?
C: I enjoy travelling to different parts of the world and exploring different types of cuisines and cultures. This gives me the inspiration to create new dishes for our guests at Summer Pavilion.
- 400g Boston lobster
- 200g rice
- Deshell the lobster and wash the lobster shell clean.
- Stir-fry lobster shell over a low heat
- Crush the shell, add water and boil over a high heat for 30 minutes
- Remove shell from broth
- Add a dash of salt and sugar
- Cook the steamed rice in lobster broth
- Add lobster meat and bring to a boil.