Resorts World Genting’s very own Group Chef Oliver Lopez gets personal with HIGH Life in a fun Q&A session on his culinary journey. The distinguished chef talks us through what fuels him to cook up a storm and bring the best gastronomic miracles to the guests every day.
1.Why did you decide to become a chef?
Interestingly, I became a chef by chance. Back then, my passion was football but that didn’t quite work out. When my mother urged me to look for a job, I applied to be a chef at Genting and the rest is history!
2.What inspires you to create new and unique recipes in your kitchen?
The most important thing is having good and fresh raw ingredients. I once got to work with fresh truffle flown directly from Italy and was so inspired by the endless possibilities of working with such a great ingredient. You can do wonders with good ingredients and they don’t have to be expensive at all.
3.What are the most difficult situations you have handled as a chef?
We recently launched our central production kitchen in the resort. The entire project took 3 years and the planning process was challenging for me. Now that it’s up and running, I feel very excited to have a kitchen in the resort that is so big and new.
4.What is your favourite type of cuisine to create and feast on?
I come from a fine-dining background, so I always enjoy that. Christmas and Valentine’s Day are two occasions that are important for me too. For Christmas, you get to create food for family gatherings and try new fusion ideas. For Valentine’s Day, you get to show your romantic side and play with different combinations of colours, decorations and tastes.
5.What is your number 1 rule in the kitchen, for both yourself and the people who work with you?
I have 2 – the first is to clean as you go. Another one is before anything goes out of the kitchen, always taste, taste, taste!
6.What is your favourite part about being a chef?
It’s always nice to see guests appreciating the food that you’ve created.
7.In the culinary world, who is your biggest inspiration?
Daniel Boulud. His expertise is in contemporary French cuisine.
8.How would you compare being a chef in Genting, to being a chef in any other restaurant?
Because Genting is such a large organisation, it’s all about compliance. This ensures that our food is always of a certain standard and we deliver the right experience.
9.How much do you involve yourself with the restaurant’s menu development and overall dining experience?
I don’t cook in every outlet in the resort, (or else the food is going to taste the same everywhere you go!) but I do participate in the selection process for our chefs, the creation of our menus and the overall planning process.
10.What are your most fulfilling moments as a chef?
In Genting, there are lots of large functions that take place. I once cooked a five-course meal for a total of 1,500 people. That’s 7,500 plates in total that came out from our kitchen. It was an exciting time.
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