English chef Paul Wilson will be joined by Australian wine critic Nick Stock for a special treat at the JAAN French Restaurant in Raffles Beijing Hotel, from Sept 3 to 6.
It will mark Wilson's first visit to Beijing, which he has earlier seen only in footage of the Olympics, an event he found "impressive and exciting".
He is looking forward to sink his teeth into Chinese foods, especially Peking roast duck, when he gets here.
"If you love food you will love Chinese food," he says in an e-mail interview with China Daily. "It's an amazing cuisine - the balance of flavor, texture, hot, sour, salty, sweet - I can't wait!"
The chef in his late 30s has already spent 20 years in this industry. He cites cooking for the royal wedding as a commis chef, and Tiffany's 50th birthday party in London as an Executive Chefs for the first time, as the highlights of his career. He received the Hotel&Caterers Acorn award in recognition of his achievements at a young age, and this "fueled his passion in the highly competitive London market".
Later, Wilson went to work in Australia, where he was awarded Melbourne's highest culinary honor, 3 Chef Hats, consecutively and the 2002 chef of the year award by The Age Good Food Guide. It was also in 2002 that he assisted with the re-launch of Melbourne's most loved watering hole The Botanical, in the elite suburb of South Yarra, re-branding the former pub into a modern sleek brasserie.
Wison describes his own style as "unpretentious and product-driven". "The most important thing in cooking for me is to understand my customers, and then excite them," he says.
He says what makes his food different is experience, good training, understanding and restraint, as well as respect for ingredients. Wilson also reveals that he draws a lot of inspiration from his travels. He loves to source local produce from those with a passion for food.
"When you meet a passionate supplier and listen, it's your responsibility to follow through with a great dish," he says.
When he lands in Beijing, he will have some incredible Wagyu beef from David Blackmore in Melbourne on him, besides Australian truffles to rival those of the French. For dinner, he will sear grain-fed tenderloin, make a salad with Australian truffles and wild mushrooms, and prepare a caramelized short rib, as well as slow cooked brisket and roasted sirloin.
Dinner 6 pm, Sept 3-5, 788 yuan net/ person; Sunday brunch 11:30 am-3 pm, Sept 6, 298 yuan net/person. 6526-3388 ext 5331/4186
Story by Ye Jun, photo courtesy of Paul Wilson