Meet YNCOTY finalist Edwin Kuk, junior sous chef at The Art School Restaurant
Edwin is currently working as junior sous chef at The Art School Restaurant after completing his culinary training at the City of Liverpool College. He has also worked in the London Carriage Works and at a family run chip shop. Being a chef allows him to express his creative side and put culture into his dishes. Even as a child, Edwin wanted to follow this career path and he has always had an interest in food. Growing up in Hong Kong and travelling around Asia with his family, gave him a taste of different cultures from a young age.
Edwin feels there are many people who inspire him in this industry, but the chef who he most looks up to is Nathan Outlaw. He loves his simplistic style and has researched his work as his inspiration in this competition. However, he has also learnt so much from many of the chefs he has worked with. Competing allows Edwin to push himself to the limit and he finds he learns so much along the way. It’s also a great way for him to get feedback from respected chefs in the industry and he takes their advice to improve himself..
Being part of the Young National Chef of the Year final will be a proud moment and he feels it’s a fantastic opportunity to develop his career. Winning would mean a great deal to him as he knows the past winners of this competition have gone on to achieve amazing things. Edwin is keen to get his name on that list and follow in those chefs’ footsteps.
During lockdown, Edwin kept busy by cooking at home. Along with his girlfriend, he created a tasting menu for her family which he said was lots of fun. When it comes to his preparation for the competition, the dessert has been the biggest challenge as he hasn’t done much pastry in the past. However, he’s learnt so much more about this course from doing his menu already. Reflecting on the positives of COVID-19, he told us that lockdown gave him time to focus on himself and research different chefs and techniques.