Born in Hong Kong, executive chef Joseph Tse started his culinary journey as a kitchen trainee in 1969 when he was only 16 years old. He remembered in those days as long as one is willing to learn, the MasterChefs will be willing to teach. However, some of the chefs will keep some of their secret or original recipes such as seasoning or spices and they will only impact it when the trust is earned. That is the time where probably they are going to retire and the chef would have already stayed and followed him long enough. Indeed, it is the old fashion kind of ShiFu (师傅) mindset and it is definitely not easy to gain those points.
In this interview, we will get to know what chef Joseph Tse went through and some of the recommendable dishes you should try when you visit Three Michelin Starred, The Eight Restaurant in Grand Lisboa Hotel.
Chef Joseph Tse only started learning English after completing 1 year of his first job when he moved to Belgium for work. Every day for two years, he would wake up at 6 45 pm to attend his two-hour class before heading to work, which started at 9 pm. Life was tough.
For the sake of communication, all chefs have to learn the English language just like their mother tongue. This has benefited him as all his current customers come from all over the world and his boss is European. Thereafter in the 1980s, Chef Joseph Tse moved back to Hong Kong to work in the hotel before shifting to Beijing for another 2 years of work.
In 1989, Chef Joseph Tse migrated to Canada for a while with his family. But he ended up had to restart everything as his business did not take off as wished due to the slow economy. Good relations aid him through his challenging journey and opened doors for him. After six years at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, a time of considerable learning for Tse, he went on to serve as a Chinese Executive Chef for the Aberdeen Marina Club which was managed by Shangri-La Hotel group for five years, a period which he continued to refine his mastery of the culinary arts. In 2007, Chef Joseph Tse moved to Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong as their Chinese Executive Chef, before working the same in Hotel ICON for nine years. In 2015, he was invited by Grand Lisboa Hotel to come on as The Eight Restaurant’s Executive Chef. Deep understanding of Chinese cuisine and good culinary skills have made Chef Joseph Tse a well-known name in the industry. He has received numerous certificates and accolades and has also served as the chief instructor of southern Chinese cuisine at the Hong Kong Chinese Cuisine Training Institute.
Crispy Barbecued Pork Buns with Preserved Vegetables
Designed in the shape of a cute hedgehog that features not only the art skill aspects but also the top-cut pork shoulder meat. The bun is pan-fried with a crispy crust which gives a fragrant texture.
Purse Shaped Puff Pastry with Wrapped with River Shrimp
One of the Memories Before And During My Culinary Journey
I still remember that my brother and sister used charcoal to cook for my family. I decided to jump on board of the culinary path is because I envy the delicious and beautiful food which chefs prepare and serve. I myself love to cook and eat. I imagine and dream of myself doing the same routine as what other chefs were doing. I do not mind working long hours every day. My life is tough as those days the economy was bad. At that period time between 1980 to 1976, I was working every day until the government announced a 2 day off for all workers.
Steamed Dumplings with Cristal Blue Shrimps in Goldfish Shape
The dim sum features South Pacific New Caledonian Wild Cristal Blue Shrimp which is only harvested once a year. The dumpling skin is fashioned into the shape of a goldfish in a culinary creation that tastes as good as it looks. Other dim sum includes the steamed dumplings with Abalone on Pork Siew Mai and .
My Most Interesting Experience
I love to travel, learn new things and share them with my team. I am quite frequent on the internet to find new things. When I think that the particular ingredient suits our Chinese restaurant, I will try and test it. I do not really see the price as long as it is good for our restaurant and it is of high quality.
Crispy Wagyu Beef with Homemade Cream Sauce
The beef has been slow-roasted and simmers for 6 hours, making it so tender before deep fried. Enjoy by dipping the crispy beef in the fluffy cream sauce which is made of lemon and honey as it gives you a flavour of “fresh flower” and reduces the greasiness of the wagyu fat.
The Culinary Learning Curve Trend
In order to be successful, I think we need to learn more and even if we are over 60 or 70 years old we shouldn’t stop. I myself also keep learning and explore new things. I encourage my colleagues to keep walking. We have a team building, we cooperate with each other and we upgrade ourselves with new knowledge every day. From a Cook to being a Great Chef is not easy, the market is open. You have to share your knowledge be it the good or bad attempt so that everyone can learn. I have to keep smiling every day even if the day is down.
Suckling Pig | Fried Rice & Preserved Meat
A 14 days born pig is chosen for the roast because of its tenderness in the meat as one of the features. Bright skin type of bbq technique is used here. The fried rice is stir-fried with Chinese sausage, dried scallops and shiitake mushrooms before stuffing. About 40 minutes is required to cook. Customers can order half a pig. Get ready to be filled with the fragrant of the rice and enjoy the crispy skin pork!
Michelin Chinese Standard, Is There Any?
In Chinese cooking, we can use westernise ingredients and cooking techniques but just go overboard. Chinese cooking is simple; just prepare the ingredient with a simple sauce, cook it and make it tasty. The Michelin standard is also about seasoning, taste, ingredients, cooking time and the basic presentation. My staffs will also have to know about wine pairing as well as how to serve and under what temperature.
Steamed Crab Claw with Egg White in Fish Broth
We have achieved 3 Stars Michelin for 5 years since 2014. As a chef, this is one of the best-wanted achievement in our journey. We are truly humbled. How to maintain those stars is the crucial part and the challenge. We have our training daily at 3 15 pm to build up our knowledge. This includes the service staffs so that they will know what to reply when the customer ask questions. Before we set the menu, we will seek and combine all our colleagues’ opinion and feedback. We will also share how we create the dish so that everyone can understand the backend process.
Streamed Garoupa Fillet with Crispy Black Bean & Garlic
Overall, the Eight Restuarant has more than 150 dishes with about 40 types of a la minute hand-crafted dim sums creations. They change their menu twice a year. A special chef menu is also available upon request. The restaurant also shares the phenomenal wine cellar with over 16 800 labels between 13 other restaurants housed in Grand Lisboa Hotel and Hotel Lisboa. You will definitely be spoilt for choices!
Grand Lisboa Macau
Avenida de Lisboa, Macau
11:30 – 14:30 hrs (Mon-Sat)
10:00 – 15:00 hrs (Sun / Public Holidays)
Dinner: 18:30 – 22:30 Hrs
Tel: (853) 8803 7788