ArChan Chan Kit-ying, chef de cuisine at Cantonese Restaurant Ho Lee Fook within Hong Kong’s SoHo neighborhood, who was appointed to the position in 2021 following 13 years in the kitchen at home in Australia and Singapore and Singapore, explains to Richard Lord how it changed her life.

I read it again while I was living in Australia. I was born in Hong Kong and only moved to Australia in 2008, shortly after I graduated from university in order to study to become a chef.

It was in 2016 that I was offered my first job as a head chef in Andrew McConnell’s Ricky & Pinky, a modern Chinese restaurant (in Melbourne). I completed my work experience with the JW Marriott in Hong Kong before moving to Australia and did not have any prior Chinese cooking experience.

“30 Years in the Kitchen” (1956) is a collection of cookbooks written by Chan Wing.

For me, reading is essential. In the beginning, I was trying to learn how to cook Chinese food and was reading as much as I could.

The family I was with asked, “OK What’s the traditional Cantonese food? I’ve found books on contemporary food and fusion, however, I’d like to know more about it before when I came into the world.” The grandfather of my father spoke about the writer he was while he was a kid, and he suggested the books he had read to me.

From announcing 1200 oysters every day to establishing the restaurant, and the journey of a chef

There were a few very common items, such as the home cook as well as a return to the dynastic kitchen. It’s more than just a cookbook; it also inspired me to dream about the foods people ate back in the day. Through these recipes, you will see the way people live.

Many cooks will look through the recipe book and an ingredient inside and wonder, “How can I translate that to one of my dishes?” For me, it’s a matter of background. It could be something I’ve put in the dish after reading about it a few years in the past.

It’s a fascinating aspect of Cantonese cuisine that is that with the majority of meals, you’ll likely come to them (as a diner) with a preconceived notion of what you’ll get. This book is intriguing to me, as many aspects remain relevant.

The inside is the interior of Ho Lee Fook, in Hong Kong’s SoHo neighborhood.

I had to master the food, and later, I needed to know how to modernize it. It is commonplace for me to make an update or change version of the dish. However, I consider how to create the perfect arrangement.

At present, I’m in Ho Lee Fook, my relationship with Cantonese and the local food is much more ensconced.

I’ve returned to this book, and it’s still enjoyable to read, but it also shows how much I’ve evolved since reading it in the beginning. In the end, I decided to read it a lot in order to get a sense of it.

There have been occasions since when I’d read a recipe in the book before I fell asleep to study it further. Nowadays, I’d like to slow down my reading.