Celebrity Chef Sam Leong is in town as he is cooking at TAO Chinese Cuisine Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur this 13, 14 & 15 March 2014 and I got to follow him to the morning Pudu wet market to do some marketing. Sam Leong earned his fame for infusing his traditional Chinese cuisine with a great modern touch. I really love his gourmet work and thrust into refining his food creations
Together with Sam Leong, Darrel O’Neill, his team and two other great food journalists we embarked to the jungle of ingredients that situated not far from the restaurant, Pudu Wet Market. Sam Leong himself believes in selecting his ingredients fresh especially directly from the market if possible and as often as he can. He loves doing such trips so he is able to monitor the availability of fresh and also seasonal ingredients that will refine his kitchen palate.
“I love heading to the market not only to select the ingredients but I get to meet my friends at the market especially the seller themselves”. Sam Leong added with a smile. Freshness in ingredients for his cooking is important according to Sam Leong.
We strolled the Pudu market from the vegetable stalls till the fruit stalls and Sam Leong was impressed with the freshness of the availability produces at Pudu wet market. He kept buying and buying, while the Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur team did the dollying.
When asked about young new chefs joining the industry, Chef Sam Leong believes each young chefs should start the kitchen learning from right the bottom level when they join the food industry. And earn their way up. Dedication is a must and wanting to learn is essential in which Sam Leong saw currently lacking.
When asked I asked Sam about if he has any chefs that he adored . . . . he paused and his dad was his inspiration and inspired.
It was a great escape to Pudu Wet Market and having to trail around with Chef Sam Leong it was just brilliant !
About Chef Sam Leong
Sam Leong is no stranger to the media as 26 years of culinary expertise and innovation has honed him to be Singapore’s very own celebrity chef. Having been trained in culinary arts by his father, a Malaysian Chef well known for his shark’s fin dishes, Chef Leong has come a long way. From becoming the executive chef of Jiang Nan Chun at Four Seasons Hotel at the age of 28 to being appointed as the director of kitchens/corporate chef for the Tung Lok Group, Chef Leong has also collected multiple accolades. A trend-setter in modern Chinese Cuisine, Sam has represented Singapore at some of the world’s prestigious culinary events, including the annual James Beard Foundation Awards (1999); Friends of James Beard Gala Dinner (2000); Master of Food & Wine, Australia (2002); Annual St Moritz Gourmet Festival, Switzerland (2002); and the Flavours of Asia event at Napa Valley, California (2004).
His list of accolades includes being named Best Asian Ethnic Chef of the Year at World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence in 2001, 2002 and 2004 and Executive Chef of the Year and Chef of the Year in 2005. He was also named Chef of the Year at the Hospitality Asia Platinum Award (HAPA) in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, Chef Leong was awarded the Five Star Diamond Award and was recognised as one of the finest chefs worldwide in the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and another award in 2009 – Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year “regional” by the World Gourmet Summit, Singapore. Leong has had the honour of serving world famous public figures such as Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, former US presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, and Queen Elizabeth II of England. He became the first Singaporean chef to join Singapore Airline’s International Culinary Panel of world-renowned chefs. In that same year, he made his first appearance on Singapore television, in a Chinese language cooking programme, King of the Kitchens. A year later, he was invited to be chef-mentor for a television cooking competition, Star Chefs 1 in 2006,Star Chef 2 in 2007 and Good Food Fun Cook in 2008. His success progressed into the publishing world when he released his cookbook A Wok Through Time, followed by Sensations, and A Taste of Home.