Andy Yeung Cheuk Yin: Slow travel food emphasises the provenance of ingredients

In today’s sharing, readers will have fascinating moments with Andy Yeung Cheuk Yin, the Executive Pastry Chef at Regent Hong Kong, in our series of interviews with renowned chefs and managers. With great pleasure, Wanderlust Tips USA shares this thought-provoking piece with you in an attempt to provide you with a range of vivid and multidimensional viewpoints on the restaurant industry.

Nestled along Kowloon’s vibrant harbourfront, the Regent Hong Kong stands as a beacon of elegance and opulence, a testament to the city’s rich history and modern allure. The hotel has unveiled its total transformation, emerging as a reimagined sanctuary of contemporary luxury, infused with the spirit of the city’s dynamic culture. 

At the helm of Regent Hong Kong’s culinary excellence stands Chef Andy Yeung Cheuk Yin, an Executive Pastry Chef whose passion and expertise have transformed the hotel’s pastry offerings into a symphony of flavours and artistry. With a career spanning over a decade, this talented chef has garnered a reputation as a culinary innovator, constantly pushing the boundaries of pastry artistry and delighting guests with his exquisite creations. Chef Andy Yeung Cheuk Yin, with in-depth and methodical experience in the field of pastry, will provide an especially fascinating article about slow travel. Attentionally, we may create a flawless voyage for your next leisurely journey by absorbing this gifted chef’s sharing.

Have a good day, Andy Yeung Cheuk Yin. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I decided to pursue a career as a pastry chef when I was 17 years old and started working my way up the ranks in the pastry kitchen. I refined my craft at the Excelsior Hotel, the Venetian Macau and at Marriott Hotels in Hong Kong including JW Marriott, Sheraton and St. Regis. I joined Regent Hong Kong’s pre-opening team in 2022 as Executive Pastry Chef. I am thrilled to play a role in the rebirth of this iconic hotel which is an acclaimed dining destination.  

I have perfected my skills through practical experience and formal training on Modern French Pastry, Chocolate Work and Sugar Work.  As a key member, coach and mentor on the Hong Kong Culinary National Team, I have participated in world culinary events which have gained the team global recognition and numerous awards. I love using my creativity and artistry to create imaginative confections, innovative desserts and showpieces that are both instagrammable and delicious.

What inspired you to be a professional pastry chef and the opportunity to work at Regent Hong Kong?

My inspiration to become a professional pastry chef was when I worked in my father’s restaurant as I was young. At that time, the chef assigned me to work as a trainee in the pastry kitchen.  I learned my trade from many experienced chefs, but my passion was fueled after joining the Hong Kong Culinary National Team in 2012. That is when I had an opportunity to learn from the best culinary nations around the world.  

Over the past several years, I have been one of the key team members participating in world challenges and have gradually taken up the team coach position to mentor the next generation of chefs.  It’s my passion to help Hong Kong gain world recognition and to participate either as a team member, team leader or coach in some of the most important world culinary events.

Prior to joining Regent Hong Kong, I was Executive Pastry Chef at St. Regis Hong Kong. The opportunity to join the pre-opening team for the relaunch of Regent Hong Kong is an incredible opportunity. Building on the hotel’s legacy and heritage, we have created immersive new culinary experiences. With my team, we are crafting innovative pastries and delicate confections for the hotel’s six dining venues, plus one of the city’s largest hotel banqueting operations.

How did Regent Hong Kong attract you? What highlights from your working experience are most relevant for this current position?

Regent Hong Kong has always had a reputation for its outstanding cuisine and service. Following the hotel’s transformation, we have launched immersive new culinary experiences with reimagined classics and innovative new dishes.  My team and I are crafting artisanal pastries for all of the hotel’s diverse restaurants – from The Steak House, Harbourside and Qura Bar, which opens in December, to the two MICHELIN stars Lai Ching Heen and The Lobby Lounge, which is acclaimed for afternoon tea. 

My experience overseeing the pastry kitchen for large scale hotel operations as well as fine dining venues has been invaluable when taking on the challenge of re-establishing the hotel’s pastry operations and infusing creativity and innovation into our extensive dessert selections.

How would you describe your personal cooking style within 3 words? What is the most important feature that pastry dishes of Regent Hong Kong focus on?

Three terms that best sum up my unique culinary approach are passion, artistry and creativity. We focus on creating desserts that are crafted with the finest ingredients and artistry. We offer our guests a diversity of flavours and textures that ignite the senses.  Each dessert must also be visually appealing. It should tell a story – be it the provenance of its ingredients or how it is prepared. Our desserts and pastries are immersive indulgences meant to be savoured and shared. 

Who are some of your culinary influences?

As a member of the Hong Kong Culinary National Team in 2012, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from the best culinary nations around the world.  All the chefs I have worked with in my career have influenced the person I am today.

Have you ever dealt with menu development? What is the future plan for Regent Hong Kong to reach the restaurant target diners? 

As an executive pastry chef, I am responsible for developing and crafting, along with my team, all of the diverse desserts showcased at our Dining Destination – be it the elaborate selection of confections and pastries at Harbourside’s lavish buffets, the decadent desserts at The Steak House, Afternoon Tea sweets or the bespoke desserts for wedding banquets and an array of other functions. 

We are constantly innovating, sourcing new ingredients and crafting desserts that will surprise and delight our guests, with inspiration from the season and occasion.

What do you think about a new trend of slow travel? Do you think Regent Hong Kong is an ideal place for that trend of tourism? 

Regent Hong Kong is designed as a serene urban retreat where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax, recharge and feel truly indulged. Regent Experience Agents offer bespoke service “on your terms”. With this in mind, Regent Hong Kong is indeed an ideal place for those seeking slow travel. Whether a dining experience or a stay, guests can enjoy a range of immersive discoveries and culinary delights, each meant to be savoured.

In your opinion, what does slow-travel food require? If you have an opportunity to prepare slow-travel pastry dishes in the future, what would you focus on to attract your target diners? 

One of the keys to slow travel food is understanding the provenance of ingredients and sharing the story behind them. Whether a local farm-to-table dish such as the honey cake we serve in The Lobby Lounge which is made with locally sourced honey from Hong Kong or artisanal chocolate truffles crafted with bespoke Michter’s whisky, each dessert is a story of provenance and creativity.

What kind of food do you think travelers experiencing slow tourism should not miss when coming to a new land? What are the dishes that you would recommend for slow-travel diners at Regent Hong Kong?

I suggest that diners immerse themselves in the local cuisine and try local specialities.  For example, in Hong Kong, guests might try a freshly baked egg custard tart or a local dessert favourite made with mango, red beans or sesame. 

At our two MICHELIN Star Cantonese restaurant, Lai Ching Heen, one of the signature desserts is chilled mango cream soup with pomelo and sago. It is a refreshing dessert with local flavour and an Instagrammable presentation. At The Steak House, we offer a selection of decadent desserts designed for sharing. One of the signatures is 70% Smokey Chocolaterie de l’Opera Chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream.  In The Lobby Lounge, two of our house specialties are Tahitian Vanilla Mille-Feuille and Sea salt caramel Intense Mekonga crafted with 70% dark chocolate cream and freshly baked choux puff. Each bite is a sensory delight meant to be savoured, while taking in the magnificent panoramic views of Victoria Harbour and the dramatic Hong Kong skyline. 

In your perspective, what is the most special feature of a pastry chef that makes you apart from other savoury chefs? It can be said that the taste of diners at Regent Hong Kong is diverse, how have you conquered the satisfaction of them? 

I love the creativity and artistry of my craft. Whether it’s exquisite bite-sized confectionary jewels, artistic plated desserts or a chocolate showpiece, I enjoy the creativity involved in developing the combination of flavours and textures, as well as the artistry of presentation. 

With six dining venues, plus our extensive banquet operation, we offer a diverse range of desserts to suit every palate. For example, at our Harbourside Buffet, we feature a constantly changing array of over 30 different desserts from which guests can select at the lunch and dinner buffet.  

Do you have any advice for people who want to be slow-travel chefs, especially for working at Regent Hong Kong?  

Besides a great work ethic, technical pastry skills and experience, passion is the key ingredient, along with creativity. When I recruit new members of my pastry team, these are some of the key attributes I am seeking.

Watch for the next chapters of our interview series, which will update you on a range of top-notch travel and culinary stories.

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