Monday, March 15, 2010

Interview with Jansen Chan OCEANA'S pastry chef

Jansen Chan is Oceana's pastry Chef. He accepted to share with me and you his culinary secrets, sugary preferences and his top restaurant in the world.

1. When did you find out that you wanted to become a pastry chef?

I grew with the intention of being an architect. I received a degree in architecture and worked for two years before giving it all up for the kitchen. My first job was without any schooling or experience – really just a fluke job I received in a pastry kitchen. The pastry chef showed me a trick about glazing blueberries and even though it was simple, I thought to myself at that moment, “wow, I can do this forever.”

2. What’s your favorite dessert from Oceana?

We change the desserts often at Oceana, so it’s hard to pick one. I had a particular fondness for Banana Semifreddo, Sticky Rice, and Milk Jam. I love rice and I got to incorporate it in a dessert not as a pudding finally.

3. Who is your ideal client?

The best clients are ones who are really open minded about food. I like to change people’s perceptions of a certain foods or flavors and surprise them in a positive way.

4. What have you been serving this winter?

Since I stay seasonal, the usual suspects of citrus and tropical fruits. In particular, I am very fond of chocolate and lemon combinations.

5. What is your culinary secret?

Stay healthy mentally and physically. It’s long hours.

6. Any particular favorite tastes?

I really like a nice balance of acidity to sweetness in both savory and sweet foods. All foods should be balanced -- it brings out the flavors of the food.

7. One food you really dislike: Shiso

8. Three favorite must-haves in your cupboards are: salt, sugar, and eggs.

9. Tell us one restaurant that you enjoy eating (that is not Oceana): Amazing 66

10. Your next step will be: to… keep making great desserts.

11. And finally, what is your favorite gastronomic destination?

Any Alain Ducasse restaurant in the world.