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With a last name like Burger, we’re not the only ones wondering why Bryan Burger is serving raw food and not flipping burgers!
Bryan Burger is not one to sit still. Hailing from South Africa, Bryan has worked in hotels throughout Europe, the Middle East and most recently, Asia. Currently with Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket, Bryan oversees the cuisine at all 16 resorts. His focus is on raw food and spa cuisine, with simpler cooking methods and healthy ingredients.
Where did you grow up?
“Port Elizabeth and Queenstown, South Africa.”
When did you realise you wanted to be a chef?
“Since the first time I stepped into my grandmother’s kitchen.”
Is there one dish you still struggle to get right?
“I think there are a few that have some small touches to be done but one that stands out is a Tom Yam soup. It is basic preparation but to achieve a great taste and aroma one needs to add the ingredients at the right time to get an exceptional Tom Yam.”
What does it take to be a successful chef?
“The ingredients. If you have great ingredients one can create an exceptional dish.”
Worst job you have ever had?
“Working as a dishwasher while I was still at school, only to get my foot in the door. Yet it stood me in good stead for the future.”
What is your signature dish?
“Pan-seared scallops with rosemary smoke on Thai purple potato puree
and passionfruit coulis.”
What is unique about your restaurant?
“We serve fishetarian spa cuisine as well as raw food.”
What is the chef serving in heaven?
“Salmon grilled with a simple salad and white miso dressing.”
What is the most bizarre dish you have ever tried?
“Stinky tofu in Taiwan. The smell is so bad that it takes days to wash the smell out of your clothes - but the taste is wonderful.”
What is one question people are always asking you?
“With a surname like Burger why are you serving healthy cuisine and not working at a burger joint?”
What is your biggest food indulgence?
“Fresh seafood and dark chocolate.”
How do you have your coffee?
What ingredient are you obsessed with right now?
“Thai forest herbs and spices. They are full of wonderful healing propeties and have a great flavour.”
Which three people would you invite to a dinner party?
“Gordan Ramsay, Nelson Mandela, and my grandfather (my inspiration to become a chef).”
What is your best tip for home cooks?
“Don’t try to do things that are too complicated. If you have good ingredients the dish will always be a success.”