Chef David Choo: Blending Asian & European tastes for Resorts World Manila
What do you get when a Malaysian kid in love with the cooking of his homeland, studies French and Western Cuisine? Meet Chef David Choo Sam Chai, chef to the VVIPs of Resorts World Manila.
As young as 10 years old, Chef David was already helping out at his uncle’s restaurant in Penang, Malaysia. It was a small restaurant that was known for its meat and seafood specialties, but this was where he sharpened his knowledge, not just of Malaysian cooking, but what makes a dish special.
“I learned as a child how important smells are. I can tell when an ingredient is missing in a dish just by the smell. Even now as an adult it has served me well, I can tell when a staff of mine skipped an ingredient even when I didn’t see how he prepared the dish,” he shares with a smile.
Chef David was 18 years old when his sister in Paris sent for him. It was there he studied French cuisine. The transition was difficult at first, the language barrier also made it hard for him to understand the lessons, but it was his sister’s advice that motivated him. “My sister, Pakr, told me to stand out, to be myself. From there I realized how I can stand out by fusing my knowledge of Malaysian cuisine, and European cuisine.”
From European cuisine, Chef David progressed to Western cuisine, but he couldn’t forget his first love, which was Asian cooking. From his travels all over the world, he learned to prepare Thai, Chinese, Singaporean, Taiwanese, and even a little Japanese, Korean, and Filipino cuisine.
His distinguished guests, from prime ministers, to royalties remember him best for his curry puffs. The creation of these puffs is a careful process that takes two days to ensure the flakiness of the pastry and the tastiness of its filling. It’s the perfect fusion of the spiciness of Malaysian cooking, and the perfection of French pastries.
David is currently the executive chef of RWM’s exclusive lifestyle club, The Genting Club. It houses six dining destinations that cater only to the discerning taste buds. David is also the chef that answers to the culinary requirements of Maxims Tower’s VVIP guests.
On why he is Genting Club’s top chef:
“Every chef needs to know
the taste of the spices,
to feel their cooking.
Now, at 60 years old, Chef David is far from slowing down, especially when he will head the opening of all Genting Club’s dining outlets. His secret? Consistency. “Every chef needs to know the taste of the spices, to feel their cooking. They have to be consistent in what they serve. No shortcuts.” He says sternly.
But Chef David is not limiting himself to curry puffs, slowly but surely, he is getting the hang of Filipino cooking. And it won’t be long until his fondness for puffs and his love for Filipino cuisine find its way to each other.
*Chef David’s famous curry puffs are available at Café Maxims located at the ground floor of Maxims Tower. For more information on Resorts World Manila, call the Visitor Hotline at (632) 836-6333.