After many different international chef experiences Patric Gigele works today as Chef De Cuisine at Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Shanghai, China. We met with him for an amazing interview.

 

After many different international chef experiences, you work today as Chef De Cuisine at Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Shanghai, China. How did your culinary career get started/ why did you become  a chef?

My culinary career started at an early stage, when i was 14 years old. My first inspiration was from my grandmother and father, they are hunters, bee keepers, sheep farmers and make their own Schnaps. So I grew up learning where good product comes from and fell in love working with it.

I started my apprenticeship in a 4-star delux hotel with 16 Gault Millau points , which was very important for me, because it was a sign that they made everything fresh and used the highest quality. Even to this day, I am very thankful I received such strong training. Not easy but instructive.

 

 

Where does your passion for being a chef come from?

 

Nature and the understanding  of where good food comes from and what it means to work with product which was alive at one point or that someone had to plant it for harvest later. I enjoy cooking with good quality, and the respect of the product drives me every day.

 

 

Which culinary school did you attend in Austria?

 

I went to culinary school in Landeck, Tirol,  Austria, one of the most famous culinary schools in Austria.

 

 

Early in your career you worked as Demi Chef Saucier at the Burghotel Oberlech am Arlberg in Austria, a Michelin Star, 16 point Gault Millau house. How did this time influence you as chef today?

 

I learned a lot in that time, it was a kitchen with 30 very strong, trained chefs. The respect level was very high and the pressure even higher. I am still in contact with the head chef at that time, and he still inspires me how dedicated he is and loves his job.

 

After some time as chef de Partie in Canada and as Chef de Partie at the 16 point Gault Millau Hotel Salzburgerhof, you moved on as Sous Chef with “Käfer” to  Shanghai. How do you remember this first time as a chef in Asia?

 

It was a very different world from what I knew, not about the cooking it was more about understanding the work culture, to be effective with my colleagues. It was a very hard time in the beginning but I soon fell in love with Shanghai and the people. A big reason I am in Shanghai for the second time.

 

 

After some time as chef de Partie in Canada and as Chef de Partie at the 16 point Gault Millau Hotel Salzburgerhof, you moved on as Sous Chef with “Käfer” to  Shanghai. How do you remember this first time as a chef in Asia?

 

It was a very different world from what I knew, not about the cooking it was more about understanding the work culture, to be effective with my colleagues. It was a very hard time in the beginning but I soon fell in love with Shanghai and the people. A big reason I am in Shanghai for the second time.

 

After some experience as Sous Chef with Radisson Blue in Kiev, Ukraine, your career received an exotic touch,  by working as Chef de Cuisine for the Raffles Hotels & Resorts in the Seychelles, followed by  your Executive Sous Chef position on the island of Fiji. How did both these experiences influence your culinary style?

 

Fiji specifically changed my thinking about food and product a lot. It was a farm to table concept 90% sustainable, we had our own wagyu cattle, pigs, chicken, hydroponics, bee farm and fishermen. So we made our own sausages and bacon, and we had to plant the vegetables and harvest them later. The amount of work behind it all is just incredible, if you want to have anything special for your Christmas menu you better plan yourself 6 months in advance. It was a hard time but what I got from it all was just amazing.

 

After so many different great experiences as chef, how would you describe your culinary style today?

 

World cuisine, pretty much open for every cuisine, the product is number one. I don’t really give myself a line or style, as that just blocks any creativity.

 

Today as Chef De Cuisine at Hyatt Hotels in Shanghai, China; The  Vue Restaurant Hyatt on the Bund; what  is your culinary set up?

 

It is an amazing Restaurant with live cooking stations and the best view over shanghai, we cook classic French European cuisine.

 

Shanghai became a culinary hot spot but very competitive as well. How innovative do you need to be at your job in Shanghai?

 

Every day is 100% focus, shanghai moves very fast.

 

 

What are the latest culinary trends you see in Shanghai today?

 

There is so much that I really can’t say what is the trend right now, think about anything you like, I guarantee you, you will find it in shanghai

 

If you have your day off  what are your favourite local street food dishes and places in Shanghai?

 

All kind of dumplings, I just love them, you can find them in almost every side street.

 

What are some of the lesser known spices you use in your cooking?

 

Lemon myrtle is a Australian spice and I have fallen in love with it.

 

And which lesser known vegetables?

 

Daruka, that’s Fijian asparagus, just love it.

 

 

Where do you get your inspirations for new creations from?

 

Everywhere and everything, sometimes you have to work on it and do some research, and sometimes it just comes to you.

 

Any place in the world you would be interested to work as a chef one day?

 

Tokyo, Hong Kong, Melbourne, and Queenstown are on the top of my list.

 

Lots of chefs would like to work in Shanghai. Is difficult to find a job as a chef these days in Shanghai?

 

To find a job… maybe not to hard, to get a visa is getting very difficult.

 

Thank you for your time Patric Gigele.

 

Are you also a passionate chef?

Sign up for free and be a part of it – an international network for chefs!