A CHINESE chef from Buncrana has been hired by the Government – as an Irish food ambassador in China.
Kwanghi Chan was born in Hong Kong but raised here in County Donegal and from the age of 8, he was helping out in the family restaurant kitchen.
At the age of 13, he was cooking on a 3 woks stove in the restaurant and determined to learn more, he went on and trained at Killybegs Catering College ,Co. Donegal and also gained a Bachelors Degree in International Culinary Arts from TVU London later on in his career.
Earlier this week Kwanghi was hired by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to showcase Donegal and Irish food at an event in Hong Kong.
The East Meats West event aimed to promote Irish grass-fed beef and lamb to the burgeoning Chinese market, and was held in partnership with the Hong Kong Chef’s Association. The event is part of a three year campaign co-funded by Bord Bia and the European Union. Over 40 local chefs were invited to create a two course menu with European beef and lamb.
The top six entrants competed in a live cook off to win the overall title, and all six finalists will travel to Ireland in June. As part of the trip, the chefs will visit Irish farms, factories and processors to experience EU food safety, quality and sustainability controls first hand.
The judging panel included Kwanghi.
Minister Creed congratulated the chefs and invited all attendees to take time to travel to Ireland to immerse themselves in Irish food culture. “We are here today to celebrate the very best of EU beef and lamb, to tell you how it is produced and why it is the best in the world.”
Kwanghi has extensive experience in the hotel and restaurant industries working in some of the best restaurants In Ireland gaining experience with the best chefs in the country.
Over the years he has also represented Ireland in International Culinary Competitions with the Irish Culinary Team from the age of 20 and during his quest, after numerous Awards including the World Championships in Holland and the World Cup in Luxembourg organised by WACS (World Association of Chefs Society) he was awarded a Silver Medal in the Culinary Olympics in Germany 2008. He has also Captained the Irish Culinary Team in doing so.
Kwanghi Chan was Head Chef at the 5* Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore Co.Waterford since late 2011- working at the 1* Michelin “House Restaurant” gaining 4 AA Rosettes in 2014. In 2014 he was awarded Winner of Le Grand Prix de Cuisine de L’Academie Paris by 25 MOF Chefs representing Ireland in Paris at this international competition. After spending over 3 years as Head Chef at the Michelin starred Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, in 2015 he stormed onto the scene in Dublin with Soder+Ko, a hip collaboration between a Scandi bar and Kwanghi’s fine fusion cooking.
In 2016 he moved on to his latest venture, starting ChanChan, making products (including a particularly fine miso based hot sauce, fine Spice mixes, black garlic products & other fine food products) that supply into food services & selling in supermarkets and selected award-winning artisan food stores across Ireland. This year in Hong Kong, working as an ambassador with Bord Bia Shanghai he began promoting Irish Grass Fed Beef & Lamb Initiative & working closely with the Irish Consulate in Hong Kong & Macau to promote Irish Produce in Southeast Asia.