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CHEF'S CORNER

Chef Qu Xue Wen Chef De Cuisine at TCK by The China Kitchen, Cyber Hub, Gurugam

Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 18:00 Hrs  [IST]

Chef Qu Xue Wen is an accomplished Chinese Chef with over two decades of experience. He started his career as a wok master at Hunan Huaihua Hotel, where he also had the honour of learning and experimenting with Sichuan Hunan cuisine for 6 years. In 2007, he joined Hunan Jishou Autonomous Prefecture Border Town Hotel as the Sichuan and Hunan Cuisine assistant. He then worked with Shandong Nanshan Group's Convention Center, primarily looking after hot dishes. Following that, he served Park Hyatt Hotel in Beijing as the Head Chef, at the IFW and Lounge Kitchen for 7 years. A seasoned Chef De Cuisine at the renowned TCK by The China Kitchen in Gurugram, New Delhi NCR, Chef Wen's expertise contributes to the high standard and quality of every dish there.

Q Chinese cooking follows different styles of cooking. Which style of cooking you align with and how it is more international than other styles?
At TCK by The China Kitchen we have adopted an entirely different style which has quite essentially set Chinese cuisine apart. Here, we have ensured the harmonious blending of colours, aromas, flavours, shapes and textures all in one single delicacy. We make sure that the matching of flavours follows a definite pattern which is incessantly controlled and not casual. The cutting of ingredients is yet another important element of Chinese cooking that helps us achieve the proper effect. Slices are matched with slices, shreds with shreds, cubes with cubes, chunks with chunks and so on.

Q How adaptive is Chinese food and cooking style to overseas conditions and palates?
As a curious kid growing up, I kept track of all the new restaurants coming in and fading out of the food market. There was not much variety in terms of Chinese cuisine. However, over the due period of time, Chinese cuisine took a huge leap and has now become the 'comfort food' for many.

Throughout these years, more and more people have started eating Chinese food as meals. However, what they are enjoying is a more customised form of Chinese food.

Q As a Chinese Chef, how do you try to balance the authenticity and local palate?
To begin with, as a Chinese chef, I would rather prefer the word 'heritage' instead of 'authentic', because there is no such thing as authentic. In China, there are about 34 different regions and it is extremely diverse even within one region. A Sichuan cook may go to a Sichuan restaurant in Beijing and term Beijingers' dishes as inauthentic.

Indian-ised Chinese food has become increasingly popular which is primarily because it appeals to the country's gravy-loving palate. Packed with delicious flavours, my secret to balancing the heritage and local palate is the use of a holy trinity of undisputed ingredients such as tomatoes, chilli and soy sauce. This offers my patrons a taste of something that is not commonly found in local food.

Q As people are getting more and more health-conscious and diet conscious, what kind of innovations that you are trying to bring in to address such sentiments?
To eat, or not to eat, has always been a tough question for people interested in fitness, and is even more true when it comes to Chinese food. Chinese cuisine, although diverse, is often high in fats and a lot of it is fried. Although China's various regional cuisines contain unhealthy dishes, not all Chinese food is defined by unhealthy cooking.

There are uncountable options that are fairly healthy and lean by most standards. At TCK by The China Kitchen, we treat vegetables as meals instead of add-ons, as in the case of many types of western cuisine. This creates a number of culinary opportunities for those interested in cooking and eating healthy food.

To add to this, we have also come up with the concept of the Chinese HotPot. While HotPot is undisputedly flavourful to eat and fun to partake in, one may not instantly realize that it's also inherently healthy. Unlike frying or other methods of cooking with added fat, boiling meats and vegetables only releases their nutrients back into the cooking broth, maximizing the flavours and making it all the healthier.

Q What are the new concepts that you are introducing in the TCK by The China Kitchen to keep the customers engaged and loyal?
A lot of us may associate food from our childhood with warm feelings and good memories and it ties us to our families, holding a special and personal value for us. This is our strength at TCK by The China Kitchen. We not only ensure the quality of food but also tap on the hearts of the people by catering to their needs more than their wants.

We have also recently come up with the concept of HOTPOT, an ancient Chinese tradition of a glorious communal feast, where we encourage and instill a feeling of solidarity and togetherness, giving our customers an experience, they will never forget.

 
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