Chef Spotlight: Executive Chef Stanley Wong of THE SUNDOWNER YACHT CLUB Opening in Tulum, Mexico
The Sundowner Yacht Club will open in Tulum, Mexico in the fall of 2019 and the renowned Executive Chef, Stanley Wong, will helm their new restaurant. Chef Wong has over 25 years in the culinary industry working with noted chefs and venues around the world. The new restaurant's menu offerings will highlight Australian cuisine with Asian influences.
Chef Wong''s previous credits have included the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, where he spent five years leading a team of over 120 chefs; the Waldhotel Friedrichsruhe in Germany, where the restaurant gained a second Michelin star during his tenure; the Hotel Kronenhof in St. Moritz in Switzerland and the Palace of The Lost City in South Africa, where he was an integral part in the inauguration luncheon of Nelson Mandela, welcoming over 2000 dignitaries.
He served as the Executive Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market in New York Cityand achieved three stars with the New York Times, and he opened three high-end restaurants in The Venetian Hotel in Macau. He also opened Holy Duck!, The Private Kitchen and Eastside Grill in Sydney and currently operates Culinart, a high-end catering and events company and a private Kitchen in Hong Kong.
He has been featured in a number of cooking shows throughout his career such as the Martha Stewart Show, 'Chef on a Shoestring' on CBS and 'Go Ahead, Make my Dinner' on the Discovery Channel amongst others.
Broadwayworld.com had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Wong for our "Chef Spotlight."
What was your earliest interest in cooking?
Growing up in Germany my (Shanghainese) father used to cook traditional dishes such as dumplings, hairy crab and homely stews. On the most memorable memories was when he imported hairy crab and kept them alive for a few weeks in the bathtub.
Who were some of your career mentors?
Apart from my father chef Jena-Georges Vongerichten taught me the most valuable lessons in cooking. I met him in Hong Kong where he operated Vong restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental, where I was working and after accepting his invitation to come to New York that's where I really understood fine dining and where I finetuned the craft of cooking.
What culinary styles have influenced your career?
Having worked in Hong for many years I was influenced by a lot of Southeast Asian and Japanese and Korean cuisines. I like to lend a contemporary touch, using modern cooking techniques, to my dishes whilst preserving the authenticity of the flavours.
What do you consider the most distinguishing features of your work as a chef?
After opening 3 restaurants in Australia I loved and embraced the philosophy of many chefs and restaurants there. Australia is such a melting pot of different cuisines and being half European and half Chinese this suited my taste and style. Also simplicity is a major factor down under and this is what I am trying to convey in my style of cooking.
What is your favorite meal?
I love Japanese food for its simplicity and meal structure and Thai food for the balance in flavours and for the use of spices.
Tell me a little bit about your restaurant for our readers.
Apart from my catering business Culinart in Hong Kong I also operate a private kitchen where one can book the space for a multi-course dining experience for up to 36 guests. It has a fireplace which is unexpected in Hong Kong and the overall experience is very unique.
For more information about Sundowner Yacht Club, check out our recent article: /bwwfood-wine/article/THE-SUNDOWNER-YACHT-CLUB-in-Tulum-Mexico-Preview-Dinner-at-Burke-Wills-on-the-UWS-20190730.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chef Stanley Wong and The Sundowner Yacht Club