Sept 29 (Wed) | 6pm
Guest : Jan Choi 蔡明輝 (Engineering Alumnus)
Host : Natali Anderson 安德寧 (BA 2021)
八年前一趟與大學室友的跨國單車旅行，燃點了 Jan 對烹飪的一團火，他察覺到食物是何等重要，從而想要成為廚師，開創自己的一片天。縱然履歷表一片空白，幸有精緻餐飲餐廳僱用，他從零開始，踏上廚師之路。
在專業的廚房裏，不會拿刀的 Jan 由學徒做起，洗菜、收拾、清潔，無一例外。漸漸，他開始接觸切菜、裝飾、和處理肉類及矜貴食材等工序。 有賴之前所累積的經驗和師傅悉心教導，Jan 逐步成長為一名獨當一面的廚師，可以打理廚房，發揮創意，設計菜單。為了接觸更多事物，他曾毅然辭職，到歐洲旅行，學習當地的飲食物文化，精進廚藝。
說到工作的難處，Jan 坦言當廚師很消耗體力，精神壓力也很大。 但從中學會不少影響他人生的道理，例如他變得更有紀律，體會到時間是多麼可貴。 他亦感謝大學給予他的訓練，讓他可以提升自己，學會與人相處，咬緊牙關「捱」下去，最後蛻變成米芝蓮餐廳的助理總廚。
From an Engineering student to a Michelin Chef
Eight years ago, on a cross-country cycling trip with his hallmate, Jan’s passion for cooking was ignited. He realized how important food was and wanted to start his own career as a chef. Despite a blank resume, he was able to secured jobs at fine dining restaurants, starting from scratch, setting off on the chef’s pathway.
In the kitchen, Jan, who didn’t even know how to hold a knife, started as an apprentice, handling trivial duties such as washing vegetables and cleaning. Gradually, he got into cutting vegetables, decorating, and handling meat and rare and expensive ingredients. Thanks to the guidance of the chefs and his hard-earn experiences, Jan has eventually progressed to manage the kitchen and design the menu. In order to pursue more culinary knowledge, he quitted his job and travelled to Europe to learn Western food culture and to improve his cooking skills.
Speaking about difficulties, Jan admits that being a chef is physically demanding and mentally stressful. However, he learned many life-changing lessons in the kitchen, such as the importance of time and self-discipline. He also thanked the university for the training he received, which enabled him to improve himself, learn to get along with people, and finally strive to become the Sous Chef of a Michelin-starred Restaurant.