Contemporary Cantonese

As a chef who has worked across Southeast Asia, Goh Wooi Cheat moved to the Chinese mainland to tap into his roots and offer local diners his own unique take on Guangdong cuisine, Li Yingxue reports.

Cantonese cuisine from Singapore used to be famous across Asia for its high-quality ingredients and exquisite plating, but after working in Beijing and Tianjin for several years, Singaporean chef Goh Wooi Cheat firmly believes that “the future of Cantonese cuisine lies in China”.

“All the finest ingredients from around the world can be now found in China and the chefs’ plating skills are improving fast,” the 56-year-old chef says.

Goh’s ancestors moved to Malaysia from Guangdong province, so he has been familiar with Cantonese cuisine since childhood.

Growing up in Penang, Goh remembers always hearing about portions, ingredients and seasoning at home because his family ran a catering business.

He moved to Singapore and became an apprentice Cantonese chef in 1983, becoming an executive chef 10 years later. He also worked in five-star hotels in Indonesia for a couple of years where Cantonese wedding banquets were an important element.

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