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Blunt Inquiry asks... Nick Liu

LIUWhat is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
St John in London in the mid 2000’s.

What is your greatest fear at work?
Being obsolete.

Which working Chef do you most admire?
Daniel Boulud, what an inspiration and a class act!

What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?
I’ve been told I can be really scary on the pass…I’ve been working on that.

What would instantly make you fire someone?
Any form of sexual harassment or verbal degradation of gender.

What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?
A new roof with a massive sky light installed in it over our bar area. 

What is your favourite food journey?
The journey I take after I close my eyes every night. They are collections of all the conscious and unconscious combinations of experiences and flavors I’ve had in my whole life.

What words or phrases do you most overuse at work?
Maestro, soigné, dope, f***head, #oneteamonedream #workhardstayhumble #sickasianfood

What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
All the amazing women I couldn’t keep in my life because cooking became more important.

What do you love most in about this industry?
Everything!

What is your current state of mind?
Humbled…but killing it!

If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be?
I would want restaurants to treat their staff better. Proper wages and tip pools, staff meals, staff drink, health care or at least care about the staffs health.

What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
Fish sauce.

The work/life balance struggle is real.  How good of a juggler are you?  Tips?
I haven’t figured it out yet. I’m divorced and just recently got dumped by a woman I’ve been living with for the last year. If I could marry my work we would be together forever.

What is your most treasured kitchen tool?
Gunmetal Kunz spoon or plastic rice paddle?

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Living in fear, alone.

When you finally retire, where will you live?
Italy if I’m poor, London if I’m rich.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Generosity.

What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Positive attitude. Someone that doesn’t get discouraged and keeps moving forward.

What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
Failing.

Superman or Spiderman?
Spiderman.

What is the first thing you remember cooking?
Noodles and dumplings.

Beck or Clapton?
The Roots.

You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal.  Menu?
Wonton noodle soup
foie gras, duck consommé
~
Baby Lotus Root
poached egg, hollandaise, truffle
~
Tournedos Chinois Bordelaise
truffle pomme puree, masterstock bone marrow demi glace
~
Soju Poached Peaches
star anise chantilly cream

Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
That needs more….logo-4

 

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