Celebrating The Silent Kitchen Warriors of The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur - Part 2
In Part 2 of our ‘Celebrating the Silent Kitchen Warriors’ series, we interviewed Chef Chan Kang Wai who is the Assistant Chinese Chef, second in command to Chef Lim of the famed Ti Chen Chinese restaurant in The Saujana, Kuala Lumpur.
#1 How did your love for cooking start?
Chef Chan: Growing up, I used to help my parents at a family-owned cafeteria which sold a wide variety of Chinese food. One day, I helped my parents to cook and after the meal, the customer came up and complimented me on how much he enjoyed the meal. That was the catalyst that sparked my decision to be a chef. I knew then that my happiness and satisfaction was to cook and for people to enjoy my cooking.
#2 What was your journey to becoming a chef like?
Chef Chan: I started off by learning cooking from my parents and joined KL Hilton as Commis 3 and worked there for 9 years until I was promoted to Sous Chef. From there, I moved on to where I am today with The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur. Besides cooking, a good chef needs to be able to manage his team as well as challenges in the kitchen. It is a tough journey and there are no shortcuts but I am grateful for the learning experiences and fellow colleagues that I work with.
#3 Name a memorable stint or an inspiring person you had cooked for
Chef Chan: I had the honour of cooking for former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He personally complimented me on the meal I had prepared and even gave me a small gift as a token of appreciation. Every chef’s pride is for his or her cooking to be loved and enjoyed.
#4 What is your favourite item on the menu? What’s the secret tip to being out the flavours of the dish?
Chef Chan: My pick would be Claypot Braised Beef with Wood-ear Mushroom and Radish. The secret to the dish is a really hot and sizzling claypot as well as adding Indian spices such as star anise, cloves and cinnamon to bring out the taste of the dish.
#5 Off-duty, where or whose cooking do you enjoy the most?
Chef Chan: My mother’s cooking, there’s nothing quite like the taste of her food cooked with love. On days when I’m not working, I’m still wielding the wok at home cooking simple Chinese food for my loved ones. Home is always the best place to be.
This sums up Part 1 and Part 2 of Celebrating the Silent Kitchen Warriors! We thank Chef Felix Siew and Chef Chan for graciously agreeing to the interview as well as Public Relations Manager, Ms. Uma Muthalu from The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur for connecting us to the silent warriors of the kitchen!
If you’re interested to stay or host an event at The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur, please visit or contact us and we will be happy to assist you accordingly! Till next time!