Malaysia, June 16, 2012
Edward Kwon believes it is imperative for a chef to be a walking compendium of flavours and textures.
"You need to go out and taste everything for yourself. Then, commit all those unique flavours and textures to memory. This will help you to be innovative and you can then visualise and create all sorts of new dishes right there inside your head," he says.
"Even if you cannot describe the flavour, you can try to recreate it."
To Kwon, cooking is an art and a chef should be more than a technician. Experiencing tastes and textures is more important than any of the kitchen skills put together, he says.
"Slicing, chopping, sauteeing, julienning ... these can all be taught and learnt," reasons the South Korean culinary expert.
As Korea’s foremost celebrity chef, Kwon definitely knows what he is talking about. He has been described variously as Asia's Jamie Oliver and Korea’s Gordon Ramsay.
Madonna has said "his food is better than sex". Barbra Streisand offered him a job as her personal chef. Former US president George W. Bush went into the kitchen to personally shake his hand.
He has cooked for the likes of US golfer Tiger Woods, Russian-born tennis player Maria Sharapova and Irish actor Pierce Brosnan.
But Kwon sums it all up simply. “I make comfort food for my diners and then they say to me, ‘Thank you, Eddy.’”
But most of all, he works very hard to prove to his own people that being a chef is a respectable job.
"I want to show them that you can actually go very far in this line,” says the man who became a household name in his native South Korea after he left his head chef position at the world's only seven-star hotel Burj al-Arab in Dubai to return and help his countrymen globalise Korean cuisine.
Click -> HERE to read more about Edward Kwon, who is Korea's tourism ambassador, his restaurants and upcoming TV show
Click on the thumbnails below to see bigger pictures of his culinary creations