The Chef’s Selected Sashimi Salad takes centre stage
As we start to enjoy the freshly prepared sushi and sashimi salad, Christopher talks about his ‘self-time’ after work and on the weekends which usually involves dinners out for inspiration, exercise, and time to relax and create.
Christopher is not professionally trained as a chef but began cooking when he was studying in the UK, doing most of his learning from YouTube videos. ‘I’ve been very blessed to be able to go to different parts of the world. I studied in the UK and being based in Hong Kong, I’ve visited many Asian countries as well. I’ve been very privileged to go to all these places and be able to try many different restaurants,’ he says. His love of food developed from a young age through enjoyment of many dining experiences, which are reflected in his own work. ‘It’s where my inspiration in my cooking comes from — all these different places.’
If you’re wondering what type of food Christopher cooks, his short answer would be ‘Western’, but he’s not bound by any single cuisine. ‘I take inspiration from everything that’s around me,’ he explains. For example, while he cooks Western food, Christopher also says that his food tastes Chinese. This stems from the roots of his personal cooking journey — he took what he knew how to cook and translated that into what he liked to eat. ‘That’s why my food tastes Chinese, but is Western in its execution.’
Christopher has served as a guest chef at pop-ups around Hong Kong, and at a recent one at Fireside, he noted that food prepared by executive chef Miguel Gallo is not bound by a region. Chef Gallo considers himself to be a non-Spanish, Spanish chef. ‘Miguel doesn’t consider himself a Spanish chef and I don’t consider myself a Chinese chef, but then the ingredients we use and the techniques we use are very much inspired by both cuisines.’ For the pop-up, the two experimented with different kinds of fish and in the end chose star snapper, which is a classic ingredient in Chinese food. They also made use of Sichuan peppercorns, which of course are not used in Spanish cooking. For Christopher, adaptability, whether it’s the utensils or the ingredients on hand, is crucial when working in different kitchens.