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Macao's star of spice

By Li Yingxue | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-21 07:20
[Photo provided to China Daily]

Boiled sun hock with preserved mustard in spicy-and-sour soup is one of Chan's signature dishes. Meaty sun hocks are boiled in rich broth with pork bones, lean pork, aged chicken, handmade tofu and preserved mustard to produce a sour-and-hot flavor.

A signature desert is double-boiled pears with white jelly fungus.

Chan believes contemporary chefs are like scientists since they constantly experiment with new dishes and plating.

"I try to change my menu a little every three months to update it with new ideas," he says.

"I also add seasonal dishes every month. For example, we serve lamb in winter."

Chan believes the reason Feng Wei Ju gained the additional Michelin star in 2017 is that he continues to develop new dishes.

"If you stay the same, you get the same number of stars. The second star is a reward for improvement," he says.

He aspires to win three stars in the future. But Chan believes a chef's most important task is to present the best food to diners.

Chan enjoys communicating with other chefs and visits some popular ones he discovers online.

He interacts with them at events and competitions hosted by the Chinese Chefs Association, of which he is a member.

Chan believes Macao's culinary scene has developed rapidly over the past two decades. It was designated in 2017 as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, making it the third city in China to win the title after Chengdu and Shunde.

Chen is also vice-president of the Macao Cuisine Association and remains devoted to organizing more exchanges among chefs in Macao and on the Chinese mainland.

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