Spotlight: Chef Henry Wong
We sat down with the newest member of our Test Kitchen team, Henry Wong to chat about his culinary journey, what led him to Cactus Club Cafe, and his advice for rising chefs.
What brought you to Cactus Club Cafe?
I grew up going to Cactus Club Cafe, and my past experience working with leaders like Rob Feenie and Sebastien Le Goff drew me here. To see them and Richard elevate the brand to what it is today led me to join Cactus Club Cafe at an exciting time and take on a new challenge in my culinary career. Born and raised in Vancouver, to have a pivotal role in development and to work closely with the Test Kitchen team for a local company has truly been a dream job for me.
What’s kept you here?
People – the people I get to meet from all different locations and departments across the map: from the Regional Managers, Chefs, Sous Chefs, Managers, Bartenders, Servers, Office Managers, and Head Office. It’s extraordinary to see a team of passionate individuals working together to achieve the same goal.
What is your favourite dish to cook?
Fresh B.C. spot prawns, or lobster and dungeness crab – cooked Chinese style with scallion, ginger and garlic.
What would you bring to a potluck dinner?
Bubbles and fresh shucked oysters! Or a bad a** cheese and charcuterie platter!
Favourite part of your job?
Mentoring the next generation of upcoming chefs, and developing new menu items for our guests. It really is a pleasure and there’s a personal sense of fulfillment each time a new dish reaches the restaurant.
Biggest accomplishment or memory from Cactus Club Cafe so far?
It would have to be when I joined last summer. I was put to work right away and learned the line at the Broadway & Ash location. A few weeks later, I was pulled back to the Test Kitchen to start developing menu items for Toronto. To see the process, the product and the people involved in making these dishes for our guests at First Canadian Place was a great accomplishment.
Advice for young Chefs?
“Learn and embrace what you need to know today, because what you need to know today will prepare you for tomorrow” – the legendary Chef Thomas Keller.
Take the time and do not rush to learn your craft. From seasoning, understanding the basics, the technique and how food works, once you understand the fundamentals the sky’s the limit!
Find out more about culinary opportunities at Cactus Club Cafe.