Chef Minds: Brian Sua-an
Brian Sua-an shared with Forest City Cookbook some insights of what it means to be in the culinary world and what is it that keeps the flame and passion alive!
What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
A perfect restaurant would be any restaurant that serves great food with the company of family. I've eaten in top restaurants in the world and its not that great if your loved ones are not there. I would rather eat bread and butter with them in bed than dine in a 3* restaurant by myself.
What is your biggest fear at work?
Brownout. Because I use induction cook tops. So that would fuck me up.
Which still working Chef Do you most respect?
I respect every single chef. This job isn't easy. You should be physically, mentally and emotionally strong every single day.
What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?
Washing dishes. I have no space for a dishwasher so everything is washed by hand.
What would automatically make you fire someone?
People who always complain. There is no room for that anywhere.
What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?
Renovating the whole space. A lot of surprises pop up here and there.
What is your favourite food journey?
Copenhagen and Hong Kong. I love dimsum and Peking duck.
What words/phrases do you most overuse at work?
What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
Nothing. I am happy where I am because of my choices, good and bad.
What do you love most about this industry?
What is your current state of mind?
Confused. I'm struggling to put pork, apples and raspberries together without being flamboyant.
If you could change anything about the restaurant industry, what would it be?
That people will realize that its all about the food. Not the decor, music, ambiance, accolades, awards, etc. Its about unpretentious great food. If you want accolades, join the Olympics. If you want music, go to Spotify.
What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
Every single QUALITY ingredient. Does not matter if its a potato or a truffle. Your dish will NEVER be as good as your produce.
What is your most treasured culinary/kitchen tool?
My hands. No hands, no food.
What do you consider as the lowest depth of misery?
Margarine. It is just nasty. It should be banned. There is no substitute for butter.
When you finally retire, were will you live?
Spain with my family.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Always hungry for more.
What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Work ethic. Its all about the hours.
What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
"Good is the enemy of Great."
Superman or batman or Wonder Woman?
What is the first thing you remember cooking?
Scrambled eggs with a touch of soy sauce.
Neil Young or Tragically Hip?
Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
If you don't take risks, you don't move forward. :)