- 16 Mar 2017 11:00 AM
Alfie had also previously entered a Singapore cooking competition called “Chef Selebriti”, emerging 4th place amongst the hundreds that participated.
His international experience, varied cooking skills and personal charm all go together to make him a true star chef in the eyes of his team and all the guests he regularly goes out of the kitchen to meet and greet.
Learn more about Dream Hotel Phuket here
1. You’ve been working in Thailand for a while, now how do you feel about your assignment as Head Chef?
It has been challenging to push the team, myself included, to serve guests a memorable palate experience of classic Asian dishes with a Thai twist, and I am very excited to be on this journey.
2. In total how long have you been an expat, and where have you also lived abroad?
For over 6 years now, I spent 5 years in Bali, a week’s stint to promote Singapore in Maine USA and now Thailand.
3. When you first arrived here, what surprised you most about Thailand?
The local Thais are very proud of their culture and heritage, yet at the same time they are not selfish to share their recipes with everyone. Also, it is humbling to witness first hand the Thais love for the King when I first moved here.
4. How do you come up with new ideas for the menu?
For me, my ideas come from everywhere – from living abroad, when I am traveling on holiday or when I try local street food.
5. What’s your favorite dish on the menu and why?
Pad Krap Pao – stir fried basil with seafood. It is simple, quick to make and delicious – using the most basic ingredients.
6. What is the secret of your success?
A lot of hard work and to always cook from the heart.
7. When did you start cooking, and why?
My dad was a single parent, so I started learning to cook from a young age to help my dad in the kitchen. It was a young age of 10 that I began to realize how special food is – it can help forge special connections between two people. That ignited my passion for cooking.
8. What is your fondest food memory?
When I auditioned for the local Singapore Master Chef Reality TV Show and was in the Top 12 amongst thousands of contestants who participated.
9. What was the first recipe you learned?
Shepherd’s pie – it was a recipe handed down from my grandmother to my father and then me.
10. Which chef do you admire most and why?
Gordon Ramsey. He is not just a celebrity chef, but his recipes and methods both delicious and authentic. Not forgetting his colorful vocabulary haha!
11. How often do you 'play with food' to create new dishes?
All the time, be it at home or at work. When I come across a new dish that is delicious, I spend time recreating it or deconstructing it – to give it my own twist.
12. What is your favorite food to eat on your day off?
Thai boat noodles, it is great comfort food!
13. What is your professional goal for in 5 years’ time?
To set up a food truck serving Southeast Asian food – hipster style like in America!
14. What ingredient are you obsessed with?
Chili, because it is a universal ingredient that can be used for all kinds of cuisine.
15. What was the luckiest moment in your life so far?
To be able to do two amazing things at the same time – travel and cook for a living.
16. What can’t you resist - tell us a guilty pleasure.
The King of Fruits – Durian!
17. How would you describe your style of cooking?
Street style, maverick
18. What question would you ask if you interviewed yourself?
I would ask for advice to give to young budding chefs – do not get blinded by the “fame” you think being a chef will bring. It is long, hard hours where you have scars to show.