Big thank you from

Jenny Monroe talks to Chris Kwan, Executive Chef

Chris Kwan, Executive ChefCHRIS Kwan, 46, is the Executive Chef at newly opened Pan-Asian cuisine and Teppanyaki restaurant Ginza.

He has worked in kitchens from the age of 11 in Hong Kong where he trained for five years before coming to England. When he arrived he couldn't speak a word of English and taught himself.

Chris worked in various restaurants before being asked to work in Dubai as a consultant for a restaurant chain. He then returned to England where he worked as a consultant for a food factory before taking up a position in a well known restaurant where he received great reviews.

Sally Yuen, Proprietor of Ginza, persuaded Chris to come and work in Lisburn at the restaurant which opened earlier this year in the Leisure Park.

I usually arrive at Ginza at 10am. It's normally the same routine, which includes checking the staff rota and going through deliveries.

I place orders for fresh produce and make sure everything is up to standard. The kitchen is inspected and then the restaurant gets ready to open for lunch time service.

I have designed the menu which consists of mouth watering dishes. It is extensive and includes cold tapas / salads, hot tapas, soups, Japanese tempura, sushi, Teppanyaki grill, seafood, lobsters, crabs, fresh fish, poultry, beef, lamb, pork, rice and noodles, local favourites and desserts. There's also a kids menu available everyday.

The team and myself endeavour to make sure the customers enjoy their dining experience. Ginza is a restaurant where people can have a quick bite or enjoy a night out. People can watch me cook at the Teppanyaki grill and enjoy the theatre of cooking. People often like to see their food being made in front of them. The teppanyaki consists of the whole meal being cooked on an iron plate. The food is really fresh and has a nice flavour to it. I would really recommend it.

As well as preparing food for the restaurant customers I also ensure the takeaway meals are made up too. There's four chefs in the kitchen so I make sure everyone knows what their responsibilities are.

The takeaway menu is mostly the same but there are a few more local favourites included in it. I am in control of the oriental/Asian side of things in the cooking but I also prepare the fresh desserts.

When the customers arrive the service staff will sit them down and give them a menu and take their order. This is given to me or to one of the other chefs and the food will be prepared for the table.. Food is made to order and to accommodate customer requests. The service staff then take it to the customer. After the meal I like to make sure the customers are totally satisfied.

After the lunch service, which has a tasting menu, the restaurant and kitchen are cleaned again. When it is quieter in the kitchen I use the time to experiment with different dishes and get feed back on the taste. I enjoy trying out new combinations. If I am happy with a new dish or dessert I will update it on the menu.

The dinner menu varies from lunch. Once we're cooking it's pretty much of the same thing in the evening. The last customers normally leave after 10.30pm and the kitchen and restaurant are cleaned and the equipment put away before the premises are secured.

I enjoy my job. I am very passionate about what I do and I hope our customers enjoy the food we create.

Ulster Star