Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou
- 5 Zhujiang West Road, Pearl River New City, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, 510623, China
Mai Zhi Xiong
Chinese Executive Chef
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2012
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Chinese Executive Sous Chef, Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou
- Ju Long Ge Seafood Restaurant, Shunde, Guangdong
- Heshan, Guangdong, China
- Cantonese, Mandarin
Throughout his nearly 30 years of culinary experiences, Chef Mai Zhi Xiong has kept his roots deeply grounded in Cantonese areas such as Jiangmen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Shunde and Guangzhou. His previous working experience was mainly associated with well-reputed local hotels and individual restaurants before he joined Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou in March 2012 as the Chinese Executive Sous Chef. One and a half years later, he was promoted to the position of Chinese Executive Chef presiding over Chinese kitchens both at the Hotel's Cantonese restaurant and banquet spaces.
The longer Chef Mai cooks Cantonese cuisine, the more he understands the importance of inheriting and developing Cantonese cuisine. And the 50-year-old kitchen veteran would define his food more as contemporary Cantonese cuisine.
“Cantonese cuisines have gone through generations of evolution and development till today it becomes one of the most diverse and open cuisines in the world. Traditional cuisines laid the solid foundation of all my creations. I make Cantonese cuisine in a contemporary way by taking inspiration from modern life to keep the evolution ongoing,” Chef Mai says.
To Chef Mai, creating a new dish is like making magic, ingredients are just props. He needs to source the best ingredients, understand their nature, and then carefully and creatively experiment with various culinary techniques. It is a challenging, yet rewarding, experience. When every aspect of the process is perfectly executed, then comes the magic – a new dish.
Chef Mai’s favourite ingredient is seafood. “Seafood has so many varieties that it leaves a chef the most space and flexibility for innovation and creation.” His signature dishes include poached sliced lobster, codyceps supreme soup, Yunnan style; pan-fried star grouper fillet, supreme soy sauce; and braised beef cheek, abalone sauce.