With an impeccable eye for detail, multi-award-winning Chef Fei’s innovative creations combine intricate taste experiences with artful presentation earning him a loyal following of food connoisseurs and celebrities alike.
Hailing from Chaozhou in Guangdong province, Huang Jing Hui, popularly known as Chef Fei, began his career at the age of 16 in Chinese specialty restaurants where he quickly mastered the art of Cantonese cuisine. In 2012 he joined forces with Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou to open Jiang by Chef Fei and in 2016 he collaborated with Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta to open Li Feng, one of the city’s most celebrated Chinese restaurants. Chef Fei will be visiting Li Feng from 28th February to 3rd March to introduce some new delicacies, including Chao Zhou Braised Pork Knuckle, Stewed Fish Maw, Asparagus with Abalone Sauce, and Mango Pancake with Coconut and Sesame.
E: What made you choose to cook as a career?
Chef Fei: When I finished school and was looking for my first job I had an opportunity to work in a hotel. I had the choice of working as a waiter, chef or in security. I chose to become a chef because I wanted to learn a new skill. Luckily, as it turned out, I really enjoyed working in the kitchen. As I progressed I learned how to cook different things and worked on honing my skills every single day.
E: Are you still passionate about cooking?
F: Oh yes, 28 years later, I have never changed my profession and I remain as passionate as I was back then. I know I am quite fortunate that the first job I chose turned out to be my life-long career.
E: Did you cook when you were a child? What was the first thing you cooked for your mother?
F: Yes, I cooked when I was a child and the first dish I cooked for my mother was egg fried rice with soy sauce!
E: You have won many awards, what is the secret of your success?
F: If you want to stand out among a hundred people, you must work harder than the other ninety-nine. Before earning any culinary accolades, I had aspired to be one of the chefs that people interview on TV or in magazines like yours. When the restaurant is well-known, people are interested in getting to know the chef and the team behind it. But to be successful and maintain success takes an enormous amount of effort. For me, that means focusing on creating and presenting high quality products and services. If the dishes are excellent, it elevates the brand, making the restaurant more popular and famous. I also believe a chef’s duty is to provide guests with not only exquisite and innovative dishes, but food that is also healthy and nutritious, and this is the other main factor I focus upon.
E: What’s your favourite dish?
F: My favourite is anything with seafood! In fact there are a few must-try seafood dishes at Li Feng. The Lobster Yi Fu Noodle and Szechuan Style Spicy Grouper Fish, for example, are divine.
E: What’s your plan for the kitchen in 2018?
F: Michelin will enter Guangzhou in 2018 and I plan to continue developing my restaurant and aim to be awarded a Michelin star.
E: What would you do if you weren’t a chef?
F: I think I would still work within the food industry, maybe in catering, or perhaps even open my own restaurant.
Mango Pancake with Coconut and Sesame
- 1.8kg glutinous rice flour
- 150g rice flour
- 300g ghee, melted
- 225g sugar
- 1.2 litres hot water
- 1/2 fresh mango
- 600g peanuts, ground
- 100g coconut, shredded
- 100g white sesame seeds
- 600g sugar
- To make the skin, mix flours, ghee and sugar in one bowl. Add hot water and mix well.
- Cut the skin dough into 10 x 5cm rectangles, approximately 100g each.
- To make filling, mix peanuts, coconut, white sesame seeds and sugar in one bowl. Stir in finger-sized pieces of mango.
- Take 50g of filling and roll into the skin.
Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta
Jalan M.H. Thamrin
Jakarta Pusat 10310, Indonesia
T: (+62) 2129938824