Brendan Pang has fast become a household name, here he shares where his passion for food came from.
From homecook to owning Bumplings Dumpling Kitchen, Brendan has made his mark in the hospitality industry.
Lifestyle sits down with Brendan to find out what he really cooks at home and his career highlights.
Why did you want to become a chef?
My Grandmere (Grandmother) taught me the fundamentals of Mauritian cooking from a very early age and as I grew older it flourished into an obsession with all things food, from appreciating where produce comes from, to learning new and unusual cooking techniques. I found most joy in cooking for others and as a result navigated my way into that space.
Who is your biggest industry inspiration?
My biggest industry inspiration is David Chang. I admire how he turned his passion into a food empire whilst challenging tradition in the kitchen. David talks about delicious food not having to come from a fine-dining restaurants and this is something I live by with my dumpling kitchen, Bumplings.
What’s your go-to kitchen appliance?
The AEG SteamPro Oven is my go-to appliance. It provides exact temperature control for steaming items like bao buns – something that’s very difficult to achieve using a bamboo basket.
Favourite ingredient to cook with and why?
This is always changing, but my favourite ingredient to cook with at the moment is gochujang, a fermented Korean chilli paste that is slightly spicy, salty and savoury, adding a large amount of flavour to any dish. A little goes a long way and it can even be used as a condiment.
What is your career highlight so far?
My career highlight so far is the opening night of Bumplings, where we made 2000 dumplings all of which sold out within two hours of opening at 6pm.
What staple meal do you cook regularly at home?
My staple meal for the family at home is Rougaille Saucisse. Rougaille is a traditional Mauritian dish characterised by its fragrant tomato-based creole sauce, which can be cooked down with most proteins such as chicken, beef, leftover roast pork or even prawns. My preference is to cook Rougaille with pork and fennel sausages which, we usually eat with steamed rice or home-made roti.
Can you tell us about the worst cooking blunder you’ve ever had?
I remember visiting a remote community in the north west region of WA and attempting to cook a Thai curry using tinned curry paste I had found in my friend’s pantry. Little did I know the curry paste was off so the dish turned into a strange-tasting watery stir fry.