Name: Thomas Luu
Location: Friday Harbour Resort
Your Restaurant/Business: Hospitality Resort
Tell us a little bit about your kitchen: As we are still developing, there are several food venues that we are currently working on and designing. Our first restaurant, The Beach Club, is a three-meal period dining restaurant that offers local ingredients from our surrounding farms with a focus on Mediterranean cuisine. Our upscale restaurant is being constructed this summer and is set to open in 2020 followed by several more offerings.
What’s your favourite Chef Works item?
I have a crush on many of the offerings. But for right now, it’s the Berkley Apron line. So many options with this line.
What was your first cooking job?
I moved out to Banff, Alberta and worked at the “Castle in the Rockies,” The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. It’s an iconic hotel in one of Canada’s most beautiful places.
What’s your cooking inspiration?
The root of it has got to be family. I was fortunate enough to have grown up in a large family that all had different tastes from different regions. I grew up in an Asian family, in a German town, that prepared base-French cooking techniques. So, I was spoiled from literally Day 1. Aside from family, it’s traveling and seeing the world through food and adventure.
What’s your specialty dish?
Seared scallops, crisp pork belly, cauliflower puree. It has all the elements of the areas of where I grew up.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?
Travelling to parts of Asia, you get to eat a lot of funky things. Horse Hair Soup was one of them.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not cooking?
I enjoy traveling around Canada first before I venture out to the other areas. I alternate my traveling adventures — Canadian destinations first and then outside my home turf. Switzerland is my ultimate favourite place. It has a special place in my heart.
What’s your latest project?
I have many projects on the go that are still in the opening phases. But a personal long-term project I am working on will involve all our local farmers from around our community and much more. It’s still in its infant stages so that’s all I can say for now. I’m also brining in six bee hives to our resort and working with a local craft beer company who will be producing our own resort honey lager.
What’s your all-time best culinary tip?
Don’t touch it. Let it do its thing! Most chefs touch and adjust the food they are cooking way too much. You go through stages of maturity when preparing foods and I find that at the start of cooking something, young chefs, no matter how many times you tell them, tend to either move, rotate, stir, flip or reposition the food they are cooking too soon before it’s ready to be touched. From steaks to searing fish, scallops and even a fried egg — just let the cooking elements do what they were meant to do and sit back and allow nature and science to do the rest.