Ahong Yeang, 32, owner and cook of Grub
Submission video recipe: Turmeric fried chicken
What sets you apart from the other finalists?
I’ve done all this before. I was on Masterchef Malaysia and I blew it big time. I think I came out of it a better man. I’m not doing this for fame or money, because I think those have a more negative effect on me. Now I’m more focused, and I think I’m clearer on my goals.
What do you currently do?
Right now I’m the owner and cook of Grub, my own establishment. We sell “confused” Western food to a bunch of doctors and blue-collar staff in a hospital. One thing I’ve found is that cooking something for another person means you are putting yourself out there to be judged. But life goes on and when I see a satisfied customer, everything’s okay.
Best piece of cooking advice received?
The best piece of advice is that there’s no recipe. Recipes are just prescriptions that a chef passes on to you as a suggestion. At the end of the day, you have to rely on your eyes, your nose, your taste and your touch. Once you master those, you can pretty much make anything.
What is your biggest pet peeve in the kitchen?
My biggest pet peeve is a dirty kitchen. I don’t mean just clean, I mean if I drop my food on the floor, I can eat it off the floor. Because if you do not keep your kitchen clean, for me it means you have no love and no respect for what you’re doing.
Get ready to feel hungry when you watch Ahong’s submission video where he cooks ayam goreng kunyit.