CCA: member Founder: Asian Street Food, Cambodia group
§ 2 years in Rambutan resort
§ 1 year in Page Cafe
§ Pioneering executive chef at the
Spoons café (EGBOK)
§ Presently started his own business
Question & Answer with Chef Meng Ly
Is being a Chef your dream job?
When I started studying at Paul Dubrule, I fell in love with cooking. From then on, I dreamed to be a chef and make my own dish.
Who is the chef that influences you the most?
Chef Gordon Ramsey. I was amazed with how he cooks and I’ve been watching him for a long time. I idolize his creativeness and his passion towards making a dish. I also look up to Master Chef Luu Men, as being our local chef who promotes the Cambodian dishes.
What are your thoughts on the local food scene? Is it growing? And your thoughts on Cambodian Food as a whole?
The local food scene, for me, is very interesting now a days. Most especially the street food as it is very challenging to put up in the market. Yes, it is growing in my own observation that a lot of people are interested in it. My thoughts about Cambodian Food as a whole, is it’s very interesting in a good way — very traditional and I believe we have much more to introduce to the modern world like fusion dishes.
What are the qualities that a chef should
Attitude towards work and coworkers, good communication, being positive to all comments and feedback — whether it’s good or bad.
What is your No. 1 rule in the kitchen or restaurant?
My number 1 rule in the kitchen is to stay focused on what you do and what you need to do, also having a happy environment.
Why do you call your food fusion food?
Making Fusion food is something that needs to be creative, not only in its appearance but also in its taste. It’s challenging but fun. Having the idea of foreign taste, mixing traditional taste that I make easier to eat with a touch of western.
What is your favorite Cambodian food?
For me grilled beef with Prohok sauce top with lemongrass, chilies and peanuts.
How do you handle stress/pressure in the kitchen?
I normally do the basic — calm down, have a break, breathe in and breathe out. If it’s too much already, then need to have a time out of it.
Do you post your food creation into social media? What social media do you use?
Yes I do post my food in social media, I show my new fusion dishes, I post it mostly in Instagram, sometimes only on Facebook.
Instagram: @mom_mengly, @asianstreetfoodcambodia
Facebook: Pou Restaurant and Bar
Any advice you can give to our readers,
to our aspiring young chefs?
Training, also you have to know what you really want, practice on it and don’t be scared. Learn from your mistakes and always try your best.