Interview: Guest Chef Jaume Puigdengolas Rey of Cadenza

by: Angie Kwon, Editor
26 Oct 2016

This is your first stint in Hong Kong. What do you think makes you stand out from other chefs?
To be honest, work, work and work. It's very important to be constant, consistent and to try and always increase your knowledge.

Do you think you’ll have to adapt your style/philosophy in order to suit local tastes?
I think that is important to respect the flavours and original tastes from our kitchen. I want to show our real philosophy and food.

Can you tell us more about your cooking style and signature dishes?
Though my cooking style looks simple, it's not. I try to respect the product always and I don't like to use chemicals or artificial products in my food. I like to be natural and healthy as well, and the most important is great flavour.

Jet-fresh Spanish turbot with clams and artichokes

What did working with Santi Santamaria, the famous avant-garde Spanish Catalan chef, teach you?
He taught me how to always look for the best product by working with the seasons and how to be honest with customers. Santamaria always had a preference for the best products.

How do you feel you fit into Greater China Club’s old school jazz-dominant theme?
It's a really good experience, I love music and food so to work with the two is amazing.

What about this new challenge excites you the most?
I'm very happy to work in Hong Kong, work with my old friend Juanjo and learn about another culture's cuisine. I love Asian food and I want to get to know real Chinese food.

Pineapple and coconut 'snow' in Skina style

What is your favourite dish of all time to make?
I love to cook rice and I'm Spanish, so naturally, paella is one of my favorites dishes.

What is your favourite aspect of working in the kitchen?
Working in a kitchen is always really hard work but I love to cook and spend time with my team as we're like a small family.