Interview with Executive Chef Warren Lee Brown, of Hilton Kuala Lumpur

1. Hi Chef ! Tell us about your hometown in the UK and what life was like growing up.

I was born in Leeds and raised in Birmingham – it was a small village where my mother would take me to her baking shop to make cakes.

2. How did you know you wanted to be a Chef?

My mother passion for cooking – she was my inspiration.

3. What prompted you to relocate to Kuala Lumpur?

KL has a great reputation for amazing streetfood, having 3 main ethnic groups and even more cuisines thanks to the multiracial culture and the fusion of races –  it’s a great change for me to gain more knowledge, for sure.

4. What do you find most exciting about KL’s burgeoning culinary scene?

Seeing the different foods and spices employed with such exact precision and perfection, in this country.

5. How does the culinary landscape in KL differ from your hometown? How do you see yourself adding to it?

They are both rather similar- very green and lots of fresh ingredients, though I must say that the weather is nicer here!

6. What changes do you see coming to this city?

In the city not much – just a better ways of getting around but I would like to see more markets that sell local produce… and you already have great street food. I think there will be more food trucks coming as this is the thing to do at the moment.

7. How does your current position differ from your role at your other previous positions?

The position is the same, but it’s the passion of the people the smell of the town and the different cuisines you can offer in KL that makes this role different.

8. How does your city of origin affect the menus you create for Hilton KL?

As we are so far away and working in South East Asia you tend to know what will work and what doesn’t work. I am always looking to see how I can have something European turned in to a local dish, as this is what inspires me.

9. What dish, item or method of preparation would you say is most representative of your years cooking in fine-dining restaurants?

I have a lot of dishes but the thing that inspires me is the use of fresh products, this is the key to good simple cooking.

10. Your life’s journeys have taken you many places. Is there one place that you really call home?

Not really but my wife is from the Philippines so that’s a country I am closer to, but you never forget where you were born, of course.

11. Tell us about any kitchen catastrophes you might have had? 

There are so many to pick one would be hard so let’s just say I have learned a lot over the years!

12. Do you have any advice for up and coming Chefs?

The most important thing is to listen to advice and learn the pleasure of eating and taste and respect what is around you.

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