Master Chef Lian Yun Lei

Taj Coromandel, Chennai

Master Chef Lian Yun Lei newly joins us at Golden Dragon and has specially curated fresh flavours of Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine for Golden Dragon at Taj Coromandel, Chennai. 

Hailing from Nanjing, Chef Lian comes with over 20 years of experience, specialising in Cantonese, Sichuan, Yang Zhou and Hunan cuisine. He has worked on numerous assignments in Mauritius, UAE and several parts of Heart Land of China. 

In his last assignment with Taj, he took care of Chinoiserie at Taj Bengal for over 12 years. His other roles in the past include Executive Chef in Hong Kong Palace in Mauritius, Executive Chef in Nanking New Century Hotel China, Chinese Master Chef in Kempinsky Hotel U.A.E., and Chinese Head Chef in Domaine Les Pailes in Mauritius. Chef Lian. 

Chef Lian graduated from Shanghai Institute of Tourism in China. To him, every guest at Golden Dragon is like that mythological Dragon who is all-powerful and kingly, and he would like to serve every guest at the restaurant like a king. 

Innovating with the most-simple ingredients is his forte, and we can see that in the aromatic crispy spinach with toffee cashew nut and the much-loved steamed Okra with soya garlic (This Al Dente okra is steamed to perfection and drizzled with Chinese light soya and garlic). 

His Pork xio long bao, a soupy dim sum where pork meat and soup is encased in the dim sum, is something to die for!

Yang Zhou is his speciality among the Chinese cuisine, a cuisine that he believes is suitable to all palates.


Q & A with Master Chef Lian Yun Lei


1. The main influences that made me interested in food and cooking as a career...

I have fond memories of my father preparing the most exotic Chinese dishes for me every day, which eventually turned into my inspiration of pursuing cooking as career. Though as a kid I always wanted to be a doctor or air force pilot.!  

2. My earliest memory in the kitchen ...

My early days in kitchen were the most trying times, as I used to return diheartened looking at my constant failing efforts to cut the most perfect fresh catch like a mentor master chef. But as every failure is a stepping stone, I practiced daily till I learnt even the most intricate styles of presenting the meats & mastered the art of cutting fish into different styles to give the dish an absolute aesthetic look.

 

3. My favourite dish from childhood ... 

Flat vermicelli with chicken made by my father was my forever delightful treat!

4. My favourite dish to cook...

I believe that dishes made from Peking duck and pork is my master ingredients and I love to play around with these, creating some exotic masterpieces.

5. A cuisine that I want to learn... 

I would love to try my hand at Indian cuisine and would like to take the country's own delicacies like tandoori chicken and mutton gravy back to my home country to tell them a thing or two about Indian cuisine!

6. My secret to great food... 

I prefer the food to be cooked with limited flour, which makes the preparation extremely light and tender. I love to retain the freshness of ingredients with their original flavors.

7. A culinary show or movie that I love to watch...

Kung Fu Chefs (A Chinese comedy series of Chefs cooking while practicing martial arts) 

8. In my free time, I would like to...

In my free time, I would love to explore to the Southern India & experience the cuisine in its most traditional form. Chennai has always been a city admired for its cultural heritage.

9. My guilty pleasure...

Relishing butter dipped croissants are the most irresistible!