Executive Chef at Bai Yun Restaurant at The Apurva Kempinski Bali
Self-described as generous, caring and friendly, this culinary veteran of 23 years is making his gastronomic stamp on the food scene in Bali at Bai Yun Restaurant at The Apurva Kempinski Bali. A native of Malaysia and a natural competitor, he is the holder of over 30 prestigious awards and has honed his epicurean talents across two continents while working in Malaysia, Singapore, France and now in Bali.
E: Who or what inspired you most to pursue a career in the culinary arts?
Chef Ho Weng Kit: Bali is well known as a paradise, and so I was very excited when I got the chance to not only live but also explore what I could do at The Apurva Kempinski Bali.
E : Growing up, what career path did you see yourself following as an adult?
H: Before attending Taylor’s University School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts in France, I had already decided I wanted to become a chef. I left Malaysia to enforce my cooking skills in Singapore at Les Amie Group (awarded three Michelin stars in 2019) and then without turning back, I began my 18 years working in France.
E: You spend your day working in the kitchen, do you cook at home and if so, what type of dish do you enjoy creating?
H: Yes of course. I cook at home. I especially enjoy cooking during my days off. My dishes of choice always include rice and primarily Chinese dishes that pay homage to my Cantonese heritage as I am originally from Guangzhou, China.
E: What is your favourite comfort food?
H: Any home-cooked dish that is prepared with simple, honest and fresh ingredients.
E: What are your favourite restaurants in Bali?
H: That is a difficult question to answer. The food scene on the island has seen many changes over the past twenty months. It’s challenging to decide as the industry and its restaurants are evolving on an ever-changing basis.
E: From where do you draw your inspiration when creating new items for the menu at Bai Yun?
H: Everything I create is based on the same principles – the feeling I get when others treat me to delicious Chinese food. Of course, there are local and individual preferences that need to be taken into consideration when creating a dish, so that is also something that I pay attention to.
E: What dish would you recommend to guests visiting Bai Yun?
H: Soup, I would recommend all of our soup bases. Soup is very important in Cantonese cuisine, and the main concept of Bai Yun is a personal Chinese hot pot experience. We have several signature soup bases that have been very well received by our visitors.
E: If you were not a chef, what career do you think you would have pursued?
H: A food artist. I have received numerous awards, such as Most Outstanding Food Artist Award year 2000 in Malaysia, and competed around the world, including at the International Artistic Competition in Franceand Olympique Germany.
E: Tell us about an important challenge you have faced in your career and how you managed to overcome it.
H: Changing directions and stepping outside of your comfort zone of cooking dishes that you have become accustomed to preparing. I can overcome all difficulties when given the chance. The Apurva Kempinski Bali has given me many varied opportunities to do so, and I think it is important for us to constantly grow.
E: When speaking with someone wanting to work in the F&B industry, what words of advice do you offer them?
H: The food and beverage industry is a fabulous place to dedicate your career. You will meet inspiring people from across the globe with varied cultural and culinary backgrounds.
Bai Yun Chicken Herbal Soup
- 60l water
- 10kg chicken bone
- 10kg chicken feet
- 8kg chicken (ayam merah)
- 5g bay leaf
- 30g white pepper grain
- 150g goji berry
- 100g honey date
- 100g dry longan
- 100g pong sum
- Salt to taste
- Put all ingredients in a pot
- Add cold water
- Boil for 8 hours
The Apurva Kempinski Bali
Jalan Raya Nusa Dua Selatan
Bali 80361, Indonesia
T: (+62) 3612092288