For Chef Thomas, his passion for the culinary arts started long before he even set foot in a kitchen. Despite having over 20 years of experience under his belt, he often finds himself drawing inspirations from his childhood – From the streams, the woods, the seasons, and his rural upbringing.
“It was the most flavorful thing I have ever tasted.”
One of Chef Thomas’s most vivid memories took place on a hot summer day, thirty years ago, when he tasted a fish soup his father made. The fish, caught just outside and paired with a humble summer squash, produced the richest broth he has ever tasted. This experience also marked the beginning of his passion for seasonal ingredients done well.
“Each ingredient has its own temperature; a fleeting moment when it is the most flavorful.”
Too hot and it starts to burn, too cold and it goes stale. One of Chinese cuisine’s key element is temperature. With the wok, Chef Thomas is able to measure perfection in degrees by keeping every ingredient in constant movement and motion.
Thinly butterflied grouper and daikon, laid out and poached on the spot with a splash of rich fish broth, and finished with a sprinkle of crispy rice. A dish inspired by the culmination of Chef Thomas’s moments, from his love for the surfs at Gold Coast, to one of the first recipes he learnt from his father.
A homage to dad
One of Chef Thomas’s first recipes from his father, the fish is first seared to a golden brown before putting into liquid. This results in a broth that is rich, full-bodied, and remarkably flavorful.
Tangy, crisp, and slightly spicy, Daikon is widely used in Asian cuisine as a palette cleanser as it pairs seamlessly with the food’s higher fat and starch content.