Food

Seoul Refined host Alvin Leung: What I’ve learned


18 October 2016

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Dubbed the ‘Demon Chef’, with his signature blue highlights, sharp comments and keen sense for fine food, Chef Alvin Leung is the main host for the latest Life Inspired Original food and travel series, Seoul Refined.

Alvin has three Michelin stars to his name and is on a quest to discover Seoul’s most refined dishes and dining experiences with a specially curated gastronomic tour led by celebrity chef Matthew Chung.

With the four-part series making its rounds on Life Inspired since last week’s premiere, we asked the Demon Chef about his main takeaways from the shoot and how exactly he’ll be incorporating those findings into his new restaurant in Hong Kong.

See also: Lifestyle Advocates Hong Kong – Sean Lee-Davies x Bonnae Gokson

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What were some of the things you learned during the making of Seoul Refined?
What I learned is that Korean food is beyond kimchi. I learned their cuisine is very aware of texture and the use of chillies. Also, they like to incorporate elements of health consciousness and medicinal application in food. There are a lot of herbal ingredients like those used in TCM [traditional Chinese medicine]. In general, Korean food is just really diverse and sophisticated — and like I said, beyond kimchi.

What was it like to work with co-host Matthew Chung?
It was great to work with Matthew. He also appeared on Seoul Extreme so we had a good relationship already. He’s very knowledgeable of Korean culture, ingredients and all aspects of Korean life. We both share a passion for food and fun, and we like to drink so that’s something else we have in common.

Related: Q&A with Chef Matthew Chung of Seoul Refined

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Korean food is beyond kimchi. I learned their cuisine is very aware of texture and the use of chillies.


Were there any particularly funny moments during the shoot?
The shoot was actually very efficient and professional. We had a lot of fun but nothing I can recall that was laugh-out-loud funny. And some of the funniest things were me messing up so I am not going to disclose those.

So, could there be any scenes you hope didn’t make the final edit then?
Let’s see … were there scenes of me dancing with K-Pop girls? I don’t recall so maybe there was nothing too embarrassing. Everything was very professionally done.

How would you describe your experience working with Life Inspired again?
As one of the most popular lifestyle channels in Asia, naturally I appreciate the chance to collaborate with Life Inspired again. Both Seoul Extreme and Seoul Refined projects were a lot of fun and good learning experiences for me. There are some other ideas we have that are on the back burner at the moment. Let’s see if we can make them happen too.

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Can you tell us more about your new restaurant?
My newest restaurant in Hong Kong is called Bib N Hops and it’s the direct result of my adventures in Seoul. It inspired me to do a Korean restaurant with points I picked up on the shoot of Seoul Refined. It is very casual Korean cuisine with some modern twists.

See also: Chef Matthew Chung’s five must-try restaurants in Seoul

Watch Chef Alvin Leung in Seoul Refined, Sundays, 10pm MY/SIN/HK on Life Inspired. 


Interview edited by Dee May

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