Wisdom Lives in Words

Memorable Quotes by Alvin Leung

The 'Maverick Chef' is one concept that I would really want to do again because I am traveling from country to country taking from what is in that country that is iconic, special, funky, weird and doing it my way. That is something I really enjoy.
Alvin Leung
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Everything I do is about Chinese culture. My dishes have to symbolize something because they taste better when people understand.
Alvin Leung
You have to be confident to be successful... I am somewhat confident.
Alvin Leung
Being a scientist/engineer by nature, I approach everything as a problem.
Alvin Leung
Engineers don't have that sixth sense where we can just toss in things here and there like many chefs.
Alvin Leung
It's not that hard to make good food.
Alvin Leung
I used to create meals for my friends. Eventually one of them suggested opening a restaurant. So I did.
Alvin Leung
A lot of people who come to my restaurant bring their parents over because it brings back good memories.
Alvin Leung
It is not difficult now to make good food because we have sophisticated equipment and refined ingredients. Being innovative also helps you. It sets you apart from other chefs. But taste is king.
Alvin Leung
I will be doing a bit more television, but, you know, aside from 'MasterChef' which is judging, I really want to do some travel with something that can really show up my creativity or something I can be creative on.
Alvin Leung
Change is always good. You can't keep tradition all the time. Yes, Grandma cooked on a wood stove but she would have used electricity if she could.
Alvin Leung
This is X-treme Chinese Cooking. X-citing, X-otic and X-traordinary.
Alvin Leung
My food is an extension of my personality.
Alvin Leung
There always needs to be some excitement and some peace and quiet - otherwise you'll have a heart attack.
Alvin Leung
I feel and look healthy. So I will look good in a waitress uniform.
Alvin Leung
I like using iconic things. What fine dining restaurant can get you to eat a breakfast sandwich that's like baby food?
Alvin Leung
Part of my trademark is my blue sunglasses and cross earrings, which I always have.
Alvin Leung
I don't like being labelled so I decided to label myself.
Alvin Leung
Just because it tastes good in Hong Kong, it doesn't necessarily translate elsewhere.
Alvin Leung
All the earrings are mostly crosses. It's kind of a contradiction to wear it since I'm known as the Demon Chef. They're all custom-made. Some are Tiffany's. Some are Stephen Webster from England.
Alvin Leung
My mom wasn't a good cook. No, that was an understatement. She was really horrible. And in a Chinese family, that's a disaster.
Alvin Leung
I'm not cheap but I'm not unaffordable.
Alvin Leung
Bo Innovation is there for anyone who comes to Hong Kong and wants to learn about Hong Kong in the shortest amount of time.
Alvin Leung
I travel on 150 flights a year; I am everywhere.
Alvin Leung
I love to go to Hunter's Pizza on Huntingwood and Birchmount. That's in Scarborough, of course! It's been in the same family for two generations. It's been there since I moved there in '67, so it's been there for 50 years. I can't claim it's the best pizza in the world but I can say it's my favorite pizza place.
Alvin Leung
I went from two stars to one star to two stars to three. In the history of the 'Michelin Guide,' I don't think there has been any chef to go up and down - and then up again.
Alvin Leung
Your best guide is a good word from a friend.
Alvin Leung
I loved Batman as a kid.
Alvin Leung
Calling yourself God is blasphemous, but calling yourself demon isn't.
Alvin Leung
Unless people die from it, a little diarrhea isn't going to stop us from having our live fish.
Alvin Leung
I especially like to make my own ginkgo soup, bean curd sheet soup, and red bean soup. This way, I can control the sugar portions.
Alvin Leung
Engineers are very logical and everything has to be tested so when we fail, we'll know why and how to improve things.
Alvin Leung
Talent in cooking can be described as skill, creativity, your instincts, how do you approach a problem.
Alvin Leung
In London, the food critics are harsher, the clients milder; in Hong Kong, the clients are harsher, the critics milder.
Alvin Leung
By the time I was in high school, I was big enough to beat the hell out of everybody who said anything to me. And I learned how to blend in. All of that made me a very confident man. A very aggressive man. I developed it to survive.
Alvin Leung
My approach goes way beyond simply ingredients and techniques. Every dish has to have a story.
Alvin Leung
My grandmother passed away from diabetes. And my father died from heart disease as a result of diabetes. They were in their early 60s.
Alvin Leung
I have developed recipes that are diabetes-friendly for my restaurant menus.
Alvin Leung
Foie gras is a breeze to cook, something that can't go wrong.
Alvin Leung
Diabetes is not curable. It's sustainable.
Alvin Leung
I don't like it when people tell me I'm wrong.
Alvin Leung
It's important to learn from your mistakes and then to refine.
Alvin Leung
I play squash.
Alvin Leung
Airplanes are a good place to concentrate because you get no emails, no phone calls.
Alvin Leung
I like using Pat Chun in several ways but the most common one is to pair with tomatoes and Chinese preserved olives because of its sweet taste. I turn it into a sort of Chinese balsamic.
Alvin Leung
I've ruined a lot of hotel towels. I did a shoot in San Francisco and stayed at the Mandarin Oriental. I must have ruined thousands of dollars worth of towels. I dye my hair once a week. The dye is not temporary. It stains everything. It stains tiles, that's how powerful it is.
Alvin Leung
The stock from a pigeon is unique. It's much better than quail or duck.
Alvin Leung
People keep saying I'm westernizing Chinese food. No I'm not. McDonald's, KFC, Starbucks, have done it big time, way before me.
Alvin Leung
I was possibly the first to showcase Chinese ingredients. So I was one of the first to say, 'Hey, you do not have to use imported vegetables to make it good.'
Alvin Leung
It's good to go down because then you know you have to climb back to your old spot. And you can't be on top and not know that you can only go down.
Alvin Leung
The core of who I am is Canadian.
Alvin Leung
You learn from a mistake by just not doing it ever again. And then you forget about it.
Alvin Leung
There are never enough minutes in the day for what I want to do.
Alvin Leung
I love cooking with wine.
Alvin Leung
I want to take Chinese cooking to the next level and bury the takeaway mentality.
Alvin Leung
My grandmother and father both had diabetes.
Alvin Leung
One good thing about being brought up with Chinese food from another country means that you're not a purist and you will accept deviation.
Alvin Leung
I honestly feel the term 'molecular gastronomy' is mostly misunderstood. It is not a style of cooking. Rather, it is a philosophy which encourages chefs to be more creative.
Alvin Leung
Chinese parents always think you can do better. But it comes from wanting you to succeed.
Alvin Leung
I think it is important to grab the moment and be ready when the opportunity is in front of you, but people may not be ready when that moment arrives.
Alvin Leung
With caviar, you place a blob of it on sour cream or on a lettuce leaf and everyone is happy. I'm trying to get away from that.
Alvin Leung
A friend of mine had a private kitchen that was available and it was an inexpensive way of starting a restaurant and testing whether or not I could sell my cuisine.
Alvin Leung
I grew up in a family that was aware of the consequences of diabetes.
Alvin Leung
I take whatever I can get with grace.
Alvin Leung
The Brits like to see their local chefs do well - when a foreign chef comes in - even Joel Robuchon - they are harshly critical.
Alvin Leung
Cooking is physical; it's easier to learn than playing golf. You chop food, you pan fry it - what else is there to it?
Alvin Leung
You don't call yourself the Demon Chef by being gentle. I am tough.
Alvin Leung
There's a great vibe in Vancouver, and there's a market. If there's a market, then there's an opportunity.
Alvin Leung
Chinese cuisine has so much diversity, the area it covers is so great and so is the taste.
Alvin Leung
I may seem a tough guy, but I'm also very sentimental.
Alvin Leung
When I first got two stars, I didn't think I deserved it. Now I have three I think I am worthy.
Alvin Leung
I just love maple syrup!
Alvin Leung
I like comfort and I like simplicity.
Alvin Leung
A symbol in Chinese Buddhism is the lotus plant, which regenerates every year, symbolizing life, renewal, and the Buddha himself. Actually it is used in many Asian religions including Hinduism. Few people think of it as food even though it is used as an ingredient all the time.
Alvin Leung
The DNA of Rojak is found in its textures.
Alvin Leung
I used to love eating rice and noodles, and that was all carbs, so I had to cut that out. I started eating mostly salads.
Alvin Leung
When you stop adapting, you lose your edge and you can only go down.
Alvin Leung
I want to explore the borders between being a genius and being an idiot.
Alvin Leung
One of the reasons I'm called 'Demon Chef' is because in Hong Kong, people were calling me God chef, and I right away took away that term because calling yourself God is blasphemous.
Alvin Leung
One overseas diner told me that he was not going to come back to Hong Kong, but after visiting my restaurant he saw that there was more to our city than he originally thought, and he would therefore be back. That made me proud.
Alvin Leung
Anybody can cook for chefs. I cooked for a three Michelin star chef when I was cooking at home.
Alvin Leung
My success rate is about 80 percent. Two of ten dishes won't work.
Alvin Leung
A dish should have flavor, texture, appearance and smell, but I'm doing it differently. We take Chinese food, play with your sentiments, memories of it, and then take you to the border; you won't fall over the edge, but you get excitement.
Alvin Leung
Lowbrow ingredients don't equal inexpensive or not tasty food. In fact, it requires even more skill to make something simple into something spectacular.
Alvin Leung
I don't sleep. I have a notepad next to my bed.
Alvin Leung
All my dishes are engineered.
Alvin Leung
Don't go outside the box when you're still not very good inside the box.
Alvin Leung
You can't hide behind a Michelin star.
Alvin Leung
While you can have the cult of the celebrity chef, the food still must taste good.
Alvin Leung
Kids always like the villain or the guy who's different.
Alvin Leung
Hong Kong never had prestige. It's gone from fishing village to where it is today.
Alvin Leung
I like a lot of things but I am diabetic so I have to be careful with sugars.
Alvin Leung
We Chinese use a lot of ginger and green onions to flavor dishes but not to overpower them. Westerners have this misconception that we eat the ginger and green onion, but we leave those on the plate.
Alvin Leung
Those who come into my restaurants expect something more, expect my 'fingerprint,' and trust me to give them a different experience.
Alvin Leung
When I'm in the moment, I'm in the moment.
Alvin Leung
I can't remember a dish my mother made that to me was pleasant. To this day I have a phobia of instant noodles.
Alvin Leung
For me, cooking is practical. That's the core of an engineer. Engineers are very practical designers and creative people. Every single thing I create has to have a purpose.
Alvin Leung
As I have to have low-sugar foods, I eat more berries, dragonfruit and kiwis. Aside from that, my go-to sweet treat is Chinese dessert soups.
Alvin Leung
If you only use rich and luxurious ingredients, you end up with excess.
Alvin Leung
I said I want to get outside the box, but what can I change? I don't want my cookies to reek of ammonia, so we used baking soda instead of lye. We added ground almonds, which is expensive. We used butter, which is expensive. And we didn't want any food coloring.
Alvin Leung