Jack Li, Chinese Master Chef at Fairmont Yangcheng Lake
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Chinese Master Chef Jack Li was born in Guangzhou, China and is richly versed in Cantonese cooking traditions. With over 20 years' experience, he is especially renowned for his Abalone Cuisine, and was awarded the title 'Top of Best 10 Asian Chefs' in 2008.
After starting his career in the Cantonese kitchens of Guangdong province, Li was invited to the Chinese capital in 1999 and began developing his own Abalone Cuisine, celebrating one of China's most prized fine-dining delicacies. Having collected ancient abalone recipes, researched more than 100 varieties of abalone and experimented with new cooking techniques, he developed a unique Abalone Cuisine. His abalone creations, such as a rich soup that uses 15 abalones and has a consistency like sticky rice, have been acclaimed by Hong Kong leading abalone chef Yang Guanyi, who said: "Jack Li takes fresh abalone to the level of dried abalone."
So popular was his Abalone Cuisine that the chef launched his own brand in 2005. Ahang Abalone is accredited by the China Hotels Association and was honoured as "China Gold Cantonese Cuisine" in 2006. Li was regularly invited to cater high-level events and exhibitions across the country, and guest cooks in many top restaurants, such as Ruihaomen in Beijing. He has also won a series of respected awards at home and abroad, such as the France International Excellent Star (2006) and Top of Best 10 Asian Chefs (2008).
In 2009, Li joined Fairmont Yangcheng Lake as Chinese Master Chef. Since arriving in Kunshan, he has spent a lot of time visiting restaurants to glean local inspiration. "Tasting thousands of cuisines is better than reading ten thousand cookbooks," says Li. Original village food is his favourite, which matches perfectly with Fairmont's philosophy of offering authentic local experiences for guests. Li also went to Singapore to study New Concept Cuisine in March 2009, extending his traditional Chinese skills and creating new global creations like Abalone Soup with Kobe Steak.
"Fairmont is a global hotel leader with a distinctive collection of hotels worldwide," says Li of his decision to join Fairmont. But there was one more big reason that attracted him to Yangcheng Lake. The lake is home to another of China's famous delicacies – hairy crab. Li looks forward to experimenting with this prestigious ingredient along with his famous abalone and other classic Chinese dishes at Yi Feng Court. Fairmont Yangcheng Lake's signature Chinese restaurant specialises in Cantonese cuisine and features 10 deluxe VIP private dining rooms with stunning lake views.