Today on The Professional, we are joined by Head Chef – Chang An Song – who has been in the culinary business for about 40 years. A Chief Chef is in charge of all activities relating to the kitchen, which usually includes menu creation, management of kitchen staff, ordering and purchasing of inventory, and plating design.
Chang An Song started cooking at home for his brothers and sisters when he was about 14 years old in China. We got to ask him a few questions, some of which are: ‘why is it important to get family encouragement?’ According to Chang An Song he says
“the influence of the parents are very important because they are the ones that give you the support you need to succeed, another motivating factor for me was the other chefs that were around me, they motivated me to push on”
During Chang An Song’s training, he sometimes he would have to prepare food for about 20 tables in one night, and undergoing such intense training made him more active. According to Chang An Song, it is important for you as a cook to aspire to become a chef, because you need to come to the level where you know exactly what to do and how to do what to do. He says: “you need to know the exact temperature to fry certain things, the kind of frying that is needed whether it is deep-fried, stir-fried or perhaps even boiled.”
Chang also tells us that his sourcing of ingredients and recipes is also based on experience that is garnered over a long period of time. Although he watches other cooking shows, and gets inspiration from other chefs, he tries to stay original. To be in the cooking business is not as easy, says Chang An Song, you just need to have the passion and the right mind, once you choose this path what motivates you is the fact that people enjoy your food, eventually there will be good success. Ensure to have “dedication” and “passion”.