Chef Michael Wong, Executive Chef, Le Mei

Chef Michael Wong, Executive Chef of Le Mei, Le Meridien Putrajaya

What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I’m the executive chef of Le Mei, Le Meridien Putrajaya’s Chinese restaurant. One of my friends suggested that I join the culinary industry. Once I got involved in this career this career I fell in love with it.

Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
When I was still in the beginning part of my learning phase with a ‘sifu’ (master), he taught me how to ‘pao wok’ (flipping food in a cooking wok). I was so new back then that I accidentally flipped the food on my face. Fortunately, I did not get hurt as it was just a training that flip without fire on or else it would be a wastage of food and might need to have a plastic surgery on my face.

What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best part of my job is when I get splendid feedback from our customers especially the owner and VIPs. This makes me very proud. However, as an Executive Chef, the worst part of my job is, I often get headache when calculate the costing of our outlet, and the paperwork that comes with it.

What’s your favourite meal/ drink at Le Mei?
My favourite meal in Le Mei is, Kung Pou Chicken. It might seem easy and it can be found elsewhere, but I believe my recipe wins it all. I strongly recommend this to our customers.

The perfect day off would be…
My perfect day off would be Sundays as I can have my family day as both my wife and kids are free on Sundays. I feel it’s so wasteful to not spend this quality day with them.

A day in the life of a chef is…
… working long hours and it’s so busy that I almost don’t get myself some break time. If whenever I get some time, I would spend the time by creating some new recipes for new dishes.

What do you do for fun?
I will invite my colleagues to have supper after work which is already 11pm and chat with them about things other than work. Sometimes my creative workers will share their opinions to improve our systems and dishes. I always enjoy when there’s so many suggestions given from them because this shows their passion. Never forget to mention, I always get inspiration through our chatting to create new dishes.

What’s something you’d like guests to know about Le Meridien Putrajaya?
Our hotel is the most preferred hotel in Putrajaya. It is a great reputation to our hotel and I personally believe it will be much better in the future and well-known to everyone gradually. All chefs in our outlet (Le Mei) are experienced and well-trained, therefore there’s no worries about our food quality.

What’s your favourite (s) food and wine pairing?
My favourite food and wine pairings are white wine for seafood and, red wine for red meat (beef and lamb).

What’s your view on the food scene in Putrajaya?
There are many opportunities to introduce creative items to menus such as what we do at Le Mei. For instance, the salted egg ice cream.

What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
I hope more youngsters will enter the industry. There are fewer and fewer people working in the culinary arts. It would unbearable to see this industry become ‘extinct’.

Read about our experience at Le Mei, Le Meridien Putrajaya’s Chinese restaurant, here.

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4 Comments

  1. I like that he is very family oriented and that he likes to discuss things other than work. Great interview.

  2. It is always interesting to hear about why Chefs get into the restaurant industry.

  3. I never dare try flipping anything in a wok, not even in a pan. I bet it will all land somewhere else and I would make a mess. LOL!!!

  4. Really interesting post! Thanks for sharing)

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