In a Q&A series, we dive into the culinary journey, the inspiration, and the values that fuel our chef's creativity in the kitchen.
Andy Chan, Executive Sous Chef of Retail, Restaurants and Catering, has been a member of UBC's culinary team for 20 years. In a Q&A, Chef Andy shares what inspires and influences his food program, who brings him the most joy in the kitchen, and why customers' happiness matter the most.
Bonnie: To start with, what was your first official chef or kitchen job?
Andy: My first official kitchen job was at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Coming fresh out of Culinary School and having the chance of working at one of the biggest banquet kitchen is surely eye opening.
Bonnie: Who or what has influenced your food?
Andy: Everyone and everything influenced my food. I find inspiration in diverse cuisines, cultural traditions, and the ever-evolving culinary landscape. There are always new things to learn, whether it's discovering unique ingredients, experimenting with innovative techniques, or drawing inspiration from different chefs .
Bonnie: What’s one condiment that is always in your pantry?
Andy: As someone with an Asian background, soy sauce is a staple in my pantry. Its rich umami flavour adds that special touch to many dishes, connecting me to the culinary traditions I grew up with.
Bonnie: What's your favourite meal to prepare for friends and family?
Andy: My son and daughter's birthday dinners. Preparing their favourite food gives me joy.
Bonnie: Lastly, what UBC Food Services value resonates with you the most—and why?
Andy: “Our customers are why we are here”. At our kitchens, our customers are the reason we do what we do. Their happiness and satisfaction are our main goals. Every dish we create is with them in mind; we aim to bring joy to their taste buds. We're here to make sure they have a delicious experience with every bite.