I admit it. I had never heard of Kylie Kwong before we moved to Sydney. Sad, but true. I didn’t know what I was missing.
Kylie Kwong is an Australian chef of Chinese heritage. She is the chef of Billy Kwong restaurant in Surry Hills and has worked with some of the coolest chefs in the world. And this is all great. But this is not why I am the newest member of the Kylie Kwong fan club (if there is such a thing… maybe I should start one??)
Instead, I am her new biggest fan for three reasons:
1. Her restaurant is totally sustainable. She serves organic food, offsets her carbon emissions and is active with several food-based charities. We saw her as a guest chef at the Live Green event in Sydney where she demonstrated a wonderful noodle dish and inspired me to try even harder to cook and eat sustainably. Here are a few photos from that event:
2. Her food is fantastically good. Andy surprised me last week with a dinner at Billy Kwong. I had been to the dentist that morning (those of you who know me will understand how traumatic that was), so he cheered me up by announcing surprise dinner plans. And the meal was outstanding. Kylie was there all night, directing the kitchen, talking to the wait staff and even delivering a few plates to the tables. We had crispy prawn wontons to start, then shared the lamb special and the duck special. Everything was 100% delicious, but the duck was literally the best duck I have ever had. The skin was crisp, the meat was tender and flavourful. It came with a gorgeous sauce with orange and star anise seasonings, but it didn’t overpower the flavour of the meat. Outstanding. I didn’t get any pics of the food during the meal. I was too excited! Loser.
3. At the end of our meal at Billy Kwong, I went up to Kylie and made a total fool of myself. I couldn’t put a proper sentence together- I was so nervous to meet her! I babbled on about how she inspired me, and I have found an organic butcher, and how good was that duck, and where did she get the idea for that, and we saw her at the Live Green event, and now I want to make the noodle salad that she demonstrated there, and I watch her show all the time on TV, and I’ve travelled to China, and oh, no I CAN’T. SHUT. UP. But she was lovely! She smiled and was so polite and even posed for a pic with me. (Andy took this pic with our old camera. The flash was very delayed and, whilst Kylie Kwong sat there camly waiting for the picture to be taken, I totally spazzed about the flash and, as a result, I look horrible in this photo. So basically, ignore me and admire how nice Kylie is here. Tragic.) So, now I am an even bigger fan because she was so gracious during my display of idiot-ness.
In summary, Kylie Kwong is principled, a wonderful chef, and a person who knows how to deal with me when my babbling takes over. That should be enough to make YOU want to join the fan club too!