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Focus, Passion and Art. Tasting Edison Liu鈥檚 (鍒樻稕) Masterful Creations. New Executive Chef at St. Regis Tianjin

Focus, Passion and Art
Tasting Edison Liu鈥檚 (鍒樻稕) Masterful Creations
New Executive Chef at St. Regis Tianjin

By Bethany Marshall

TP 201810 Cover 01

銆婃触鍝佺敓娲汇嬫湰鏈熻浠嬬粛鐨勬槸鍒樻稕鍘ㄥ笀锛屼粬鎵胯瑕佸皢鑷繁鐨勯潚鏄ュ拰鐑儏鐢ㄤ簬淇樿幏瀹汉鐨勫懗瑙夈

 

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鎴戝湪閰掑簵鐨勫帹鎴块噷宸ヤ綔浜嗚繎20骞淬傛垜鏇炬湁鏈轰細鍦ㄦ垚閮界殑棣欐牸閲屾媺閰掑簵涓婄彮锛岀鐞嗕簡杩19涓哄帹甯堛傚湪鍖椾含濂ヨ繍浼氭湡闂达紝鎴戞湁鏈轰細鍥炲埌鍖椾含鐨勯厭搴楀伐浣滀簡銆傚嚑骞村悗锛屾垜姊︽兂鐨勯厭搴椻斺斾附鍢夐厭搴椻斺斿鎴戝彂鍑轰簡閭璇凤紝鎴戝厛鍦ㄥ箍宸炰笂鐝悗鏉ュ張鍥炲埌浜嗗ぉ娲ュ伐浣溿傜劧鍚庯紝鎴戝張鍘绘捣鍗楃渷娴峰彛甯傚伐浣滀簡鍑犲勾浠ュ悗锛屽緢骞歌繍鍦版湁鏈轰細琚彁鎷旀垚鍘ㄥ笀闀匡紝鍦ㄥぉ娲ョ憺鍚夐厭搴楀伐浣溿傛垜瑙夊緱鑷繁杩樺勾杞伙紝鎰挎剰鎺ュ彈杩欎釜鎸戞垬銆

 

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鎮ㄦ槸濡備綍鐪嬪緟鎮ㄧ殑涓撻暱鐨勫憿锛
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鎮ㄥ浣曟弿杩版偍鐨勭児楗鏍煎憿锛
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浣犺鍒掑鑷姪椁愭垨鑰呰彍鍗曞仛鍑轰粈涔堟敼鍙樺悧锛
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浣犲浣曞垽鏂嚜宸卞仛鐨勪竴閬撹彍鏄湡姝f湁浠峰肩殑锛
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浣犲浣曡皟鍔ㄥ憳宸ョ殑绉瀬鎬у憿锛
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鎮ㄦ槸濡備綍骞宠 宸ヤ綔鍜屼釜浜虹敓娲荤殑鍛紵
鎴戞瘡澶╁伐浣滆秴杩14涓皬鏃讹紝杩欏氨缁欐垜鐨勪釜浜虹敓娲诲甫鏉ュ帇鍔涖傛垜鐨勫お澶氨缁忓父鎶辨ㄦ垜鍜屽浜哄緟鐨勬椂闂村お鐭簡锛屼絾鏄彧瑕佹垜鏈夋椂闂村氨浼氶櫔浠栦滑銆

 

鎮ㄥ湪杩欓噷宸ヤ綔鐨勭涓涓槦鏈熶腑闈㈠杩囦粈涔堟寫鎴橈紵

杩欏椁愬巺浜2011骞村紑涓氾紝瑕佹敼鍙樹粈涔堥潪甯稿洶闅俱傛垜鍦ㄨ繖閲岀殑宸ヤ綔鍒氬垰寮濮嬶紝鎵浠ュ杩欓噷鐨勪簨鎯呰鍋氬嚭鏀瑰彉鐪熺殑鏄竴涓寫鎴樸

 

鎮ㄨ兘鍛婅瘔鎴戜滑鐨勮鑰咃紝鍦ㄩ鍘呯殑姘涘洿鏄庢牱鐨勫悧锛
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When you are a five-star hotel brand with a reputation that precedes you, you need to hire a top-notch chef to continue cooking up that sizzling success. Kudos to St. Regis Tianjin as that is exactly what they have done. After being poached back to his hometown from Hainan, Tianjin Plus is excited to present Edison Liu, who promises to use his youth and passion to win over the bellies of his guests.

 

Could you please talk generally about your experience in the hotel industry?
I鈥檝e been working in the kitchen of the hotel industry for nearly 20 years. After having been given a chance, I worked at the Shangri-La in Chengdu. I managed nearly 19 chefs in the kitchen. During the Beijing Olympic Games, chefs were needed and so there was an opportunity to come back to the Continental section in Beijing. After a few years, I was offered a spot in my dream hotel, the Ritz-Carlton, first in Guangzhou and then moving back to Tianjin. After a change of scenery in Haikou, Hainan, I was then lucky enough to be offered a promotion to Executive Chef here at the St. Regis Tianjin. I thought I鈥檓 still young and I鈥檇 love to take on this challenge.

 

Talk about Star Chef, the competition on TV.
Before, when I was working in Beijing for three years, there was a cooking competition for 25 different hotels. I received a box and I didn鈥檛 know which ingredients were in it. I won all 3 times. Each time was different. I had to cook food from Italy, France, Malaysia, and from everywhere in fact. When I was at the Haikou Ritz-Calton, I joined a competition in Hainan. There were 250 entities including those from local hotels, enterprises, and restaurants. I won first place and then I joined the "Greatest Chefs" competition which was shown on CCTV-2. I had to compete with foreign chefs, which wasn鈥檛 easy at all. I won the first dish and the main course, but I didn't win the dessert. I don鈥檛 specialise in dessert, but it was a good experience. They also invited me to participate in the second competition, but unfortunately I didn't have time.

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Please briefly introduce the restaurants at St. Regis Tianjin.
We are the only hotel to have a fine dining restaurant in Tianjin. This restaurant, Riviera, is one of the best in Tianjin. When it first opened, it was a French restaurant influenced by Mediterranean cuisine. We have been offering dishes such as 鈥楻obbins Island Rib Eye M9 Wagyu鈥 for more than a year now, however since this year in April, we decided to offer around 8 cuts daily. We prepare them and present them to our guests on wooden boards in the hope of up-selling them. We also offer the use of a range of famous steak knives and salts to convert their dining experience into a journey. Riviera has previously won four awards in 2016, 2017, and 2018 including Ctrip Gourmet list鈥檚 STAR restaurants in Tianjin. It is at number 2 out of 498 restaurants in Tianjin and is the only five star hotel to have won this award. Riviera has also been given praise on Dianping鈥檚 鈥榖lack pearl list鈥, China鈥檚 answer to the Michelin list.

 

How do you plan to develop St. Regis Tianjin dining?
Now that people prefer more natural taste, we need to improve the food quality. We鈥檙e going back to basics. For example in case of beef, we are going to make it closer to the original taste. Right now I am promoting Kobe Beef. We are the only ones who provide such good quality in Tianjin because a lot of time, other hotels may consider the cost and therefore cannot provide such good quality. Our quality is high, so now we can focus on aimimg to provide a better service. Our chefs are working on explaining to our guests exactly how to taste it, because we want to let our guests enjoy better Western cuisine.

 

What has been your focus for the first few months?
My first focus is on Riviera and the Promenade buffet restaurant. We are currently doing internal improvement, but our engineering department and owners give us strong support so we can present better food to our guests. Improvements are necessary, especially where the buffet is concerned. One example would be looking at shortening the preparation time to keep the food fresher.

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What do you consider your specialty?
I am specialized in cooking beef in many different ways. One example would be simmering. When simmering beef, the cooking temperature needs to be kept at the same level. As we cannot control the kitchen room temperature, we have a special machine to store the beef in. This is placed in the fridge and after around 48 hours, the beef will be very tender.

 

How do you think the St. Regis will benefit from your experience?
This is my first stint as an Executive Chef. I am still very young and very passionate, and I try to lend this passion to my team. We spend so much time together that we progress together and it鈥檚 like growing up with them. My team and I bring different experiences to the St Regis. The St Regis has given me a great chance to start and I fully intend to bring new ways of cooking to our guests.

 

How did your experience as a Sous Chef help you as an Executive Chef?
The duty of the Sous Chef is to help the Executive Chef manage food quality, cost, and many of the kitchen processes. My former Executive Chef was from Singapore, and he did a great job in motivating his team. But I have many more new ideas to improve the motivation of employees. We ask our chefs and waiters to smile at our guests. We want them to feel proud when our guests taste their food.

 

How would you describe your cooking style?
I am Chinese but I learned about Western cuisine from foreign chefs. I am good at fusing food, for example mixing Asian and Western tastes. I use Asian ingredients, but my Western cooking style really proves to be a hit with Chinese taste buds.

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How do you turn something expected into something brand new?
I change people鈥檚 expectations of well-known dishes. For example, for Beef Carpaccio, raw beef or simmer cooked beef is usually used but we marinate the beef using Chinese ingredients, namely hemp peppers and then also Western spices to present different taste.

 

Are you planning to change anything from the buffet or menu?
Riviera provides a beef, Tomahawk steak. Promenade Restaurant will also start providing beef, differing from that sold in Riviera. People of Tianjin also like to eat seafood and so after October we will add more seafood varieties. We have plans for a fish tank to be on the show hosting live, fresh seafood.

 

Define the restaurants鈥 capacity to organise events.
Promenade Restaurant has 80 seats in total, unlike other hotel restaurants which have more than 100 seats, and we focus on quality. We present a greater variety of exquisite food to our guests. We also want to add more stations so that we can cook in front of our guests. We also extended an invitation to a guest Chef from France who is coming in October. He will present and advise our guests on how to select beef, and I will teach our guests how to taste it.

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How do you judge that a dish you鈥檝e created is truly worthy of the kitchens you are managing?
We receive a lot of guest feedback. Our chefs will communicate with guests directly, but not only this, we also have our sales list. This works by keeping the items which we sell more on the menu, and those which are not so popular are omitted.

 

How you keep your staff motivated?
Cooking everyday can be very boring. You would lose all of your passion and not be able to come up with new ideas if you were just cooking the same things in the same environment every day. I encourage my staff to go out to visit different places. They should travel to France, New Zealand, Australia, also Guangzhou and Sichuan in China, to taste street food and get their creativity flowing. Believe it or not, we often take street food recipes, improve them, and then present them to our guests. We figure that if these recipes have managed to survive many years and keep attracting those loyal customers, they must be doing something right and so we can also learn from them.

 

How do you balance your work life and your personal life?
I usually work more than 14 hours a day, which can put pressure on my personal life. My wife complains that I don't spend more time with my family, but when I have the time, that鈥檚 always where I want to be. At the end of the day, if you don鈥檛 enjoy it, you won鈥檛 be able to do it. You really need to have the necessary passion to be in this profession.

 

What challenges have you faced so far during your first week working here?
The restaurant opened in 2011 and so it is hard to change anything since it is not brand new. I am still in the early days of working here and so having to adjust to how things are done is a real challenge right now.

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Can you tell our readers what the atmosphere is like in the kitchen?
I am young, so we are not like a boss and his employees, we are like family members. They are like my kids. Everyone has their role and no matter how big or small their role is, every single one of the chefs in that kitchen is important. We have a total of 77 people in our team with approximately 45 people working at the same time across all of our restaurants.

 

If you could sum up your cuisine in three words, what would they be?
I鈥檇 say focus, passion and art. I also pay attention to the finer details, and I think this is noticeable in my cooking.

 

Does St. Regis Tianjin have any special promotions at this time?
Our restaurants always have offers on steak selections, seafood and crab selections. But one thing I would like to highlight is that we have invited a famous guest butcher, Alison, from Elders China to join us. Alison will be here with us from October 19th-20th. We invite you all to come and watch her present her best steak selection and excellent knifing skills to our guests.

 

Thank you, Mr Liu, for taking the time to interact with us. We were touched by your dedication to your profession and your team and cannot wait to taste your masterful creations in future! We wish you all the luck in your new job at The St. Regis Tianjin.

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