Kenny Chan Kai-tak
Chef at Yun Yan
I’m a descendant of the cooking dynasty, adherer of the traditions and simply an enthusiastic person. My life, like a kite balloon, brightly vibrates above the ground, visits different countries and regions, but meanwhile is tightly linked with my homeland with almost invisible thread. I’m Kenny Chan Kai-tak, chef of Yun Yan restaurant in Hong Kong.
For almost 50 years I’ve been creating food. As far back as I can remember I cooked. First it was very simple, then more and more complicated national dishes were born at my kitchen. It is no wonder that I fell in love with culinary art – many generations of our family were connected with cooking and foodstuff. Many of my relatives were chefs at restaurants; some other contributed to management and organization processes at sauce production factory. So, generally speaking, my future was chosen by my fate and I feel grateful for that.
I’m also grateful to my fate for my worlds – Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and even distant Canada – they all opened to me and opened me at the same time. Everywhere I served dishes of Chinese cuisine, shared with my guests a taste of my native Sichuan, Cantonese and Hunan provinces. I personally prefer Sichuan cuisine. I was born there, and this province is famous for its spices and zest. I feel as a couturier. I’m inspired by traditions and histories, created new collections and shades, suggest new readings of familiar dishes – creative work in its purest form to delight of my culinary spirit and my guests. I can afford doing that in Yun Yan restaurant.
Every day brings something new: expected or unexpected, good or bad, and it’s very important to get pleasure from everything. If I wouldn’t let my creative vibes into cooking process, I would cook automatically, as in a canteen. And, by the way, Prince of Wales tasted my dishes. It passed through security guards, a few checks, and finally a rather aristocratic royal face. Of course, it inspires and motivates. But, at the same time, I equally appreciate satisfied smiles of my guests. It just that public is always thrilled by the ‘prince story’ and it’s a pleasure for me.
I keep my spirit and my body in strong shape. Otherwise it’s impossible to manage your mood and inspiration. Every morning I wake up with sunrise and do my gymnastics. This part of a day is solely mine, all thoughts, plans and challenges are waiting on the threshold of the kitchen. And in the morning hours I’m working and taking care of my inner self. May be it’s connected with mentality or education, but I’m pretty agree with the saying ‘sound mind in a sound body’, and it doesn’t work the other way round. And tasty and well-cooked food plays a huge role in all that.
I’ve cooked a broiled ribeye with chili broth 水煮美國特級牛肉眼. Don’t be afraid of suck cooking eclecticism – that’s incredibly yummy. This dish is not a random choice: its bright colors, juicy flavour combinations and spicy aftertaste will be appreciated by both fearless and conservative food lovers, if they want to try authentic Sichuan cuisine.
Yun Yan 雲陽
Shop 1001B, 10/F Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Yun Yan restaurant menu comprises classical recipes of amazing and many-faced Sichuan cuisine. Unique spicy flavours, so typical for this region – Mala, Hula, pickled pepper, finely chopped chili and sweet-and- sour – are generously represented in the restaurant dishes. More conservative guests will be invited to try salty, sweet-sour and sweet flavour combinations.
Apart from the unique national menu, the interior also helps to recreate authentic atmosphere of Sichuan province. Bamboo, rough wood, solid bricks go well with trendy lamps and modern bar zone.
Yun Yan restaurant is in Michelin Guide lists of 2009, 2010 and 2015, and one of ten best restaurants of Chinese cuisine. It’s also famous for cooking and serving meat in Chinese style.