Name three chefs in Hong Kong you admire. 'I'd say Vincent Thierry of Caprice at the Four Seasons [Hotel], Umberto Bombana of Otto e Mezzo in Central, and Roland Schuller of The Drawing Room in Causeway Bay. I know them personally and I like their cooking. What they do is splendid - all of them are so good.' What do you think of celebrity chefs? 'I sometimes watch Hell's Kitchen. I think Gordon Ramsay is good. The real kitchen is like that. When I worked at a restaurant in Gstaad [in Switzerland], I learned how to work under pressure. The chef kept yelling from 7am to 11pm, not just at me but everyone. It was a lot of pressure but I never thought about quitting. I understood it was the culture of Western cuisine. There weren't a lot of Chinese people, so language was a challenge. I handled it fine. I speak a little French. But there isn't a lot of talking; somehow you always understand what the chef says. When the chef says something, your response is always 'Yes, chef!'' Have you been influenced by your mother? 'My mum makes very good za jiang noodles, which is [a dish] from the north - she's from Xinjiang. But this is completely [different] from my work, because I do Western cooking. I try cooking Chinese food once every maybe three or four years. Most chefs don't like to cook at home because we cook too much at [work]. So when we're not working, we like to enjoy other people's cooking or, whenever we can, enjoy mum's food.' Is there anything you refuse to serve? 'Well, I don't serve cats and dogs, otherwise I am pretty open-minded. At the restaurant I serve a set menu, so [it] really depends on what's in season, for instance, chanterelle mushrooms or truffles. I would change what I serve if anyone has food restrictions or if something from my supplier is really fresh that day. I used to go to the fish market and supermarkets myself, but I can't carry 20kg of goods to the restaurants. Some things, like lobster, I need fresh every day, so I go to buy that myself.' What's the best meal you've ever had? 'It was at Amber at The Landmark Mandarin [Oriental]. It was a 10-course menu starting with a foie gras trio then three kinds of snow crab: ice cream, bisque and jelly. The main dish was a slow-roasted pigeon with foie gras. And, of course, there was wine.' Do your customers ever annoy you? 'Obviously, I'd rather not say, but sometimes they do things I don't like. For example, I don't like it when people make bookings and don't show up, or when we call to reconfirm they don't answer the phone. The spot cannot be resold, so they just waste my food.' What's the worst job you've ever had? 'One thing I cannot do is to be in [food] service, because you can see my emotions on my face. When you're in service, you have to smile and be nice to customers no matter what they're like. I've been in service, in Lausanne [Switzerland], and I just didn't smile at all.' What would you be doing if you weren't a chef? 'I'd love to be a motorcycle racer. Just joking. I'd probably go into business, but I do ride motorcycles. A long time ago, I went on a trip with the BMW group. I sent my bike from Hong Kong to Singapore and rode from Malaysia to Phuket. Wow! That was an experience.'