Chef Haan Palcu-Chang
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I got a history degree at Queens University and decided to start cooking after that. I started cooking at a Thai restaurant in Vancouver. From there, I spent two years in Copenhagen, working in Michelin-starred restaurants and then went on spend three years in Paris where I was the Chef de Cuisine Le Mary Celeste. I’ve also consulted in Beijing and Singapore. Currently I’m back doing events, restaurant consulting and catering.
2. What is it about doing pop ups that keeps it interesting for you?
When you have a brick and mortar restaurant you are kind of forced to continue doing one type of food. The way my business is set up now, I can cook any style of food I want, which allows me greater freedom creatively.
3. Describe Mama Flo’s in one word.
4. Favourite piece of advice for aspiring chefs?
There are no shortcuts, ever. The second you feel like you don’t have it in you to do the best possible job, then you know you’re not going to be a good cook. This can be an extremely generous industry if you give the right things to it. For something that’s very subjective like food, it’s very rare that you’ll find a very good cook that’s not successful. But it asks a lot.
5. What’s one kitchen tool you can’t live without?
Mortar and pestle.
6. Favourite ingredient you’re using right now?
7. How do you describe your culinary style?
Mama Flo’s is eclectic.
8. What drew you to cooking?
My family really loved cooking. Everything was around food so it came naturally to me.
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