Chef of the Week: Trevor Lui of Kanpai Snack Bar

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Introducing Chef Trevor Lui

This week, instead of profiling just one chef, we’ll be profiling five of our favourites from the upcoming Taste of Toronto, which takes place at Fort York: Garrison Common from Friday, June 15 to Sunday, June 18. Check back daily for a new profile on one of the city’s top chefs and a sneak peek at what to expect at the festival. 

Our next Chef of the Week is known for his Asian street food-inspired dishes.

Allow us to introduce you to Trevor Lui. 

As the partner and chef behind Kanpai Snack Bar & Yatai Japanese food (a seasonal eatery that pops up at the CNE), Lui sure does have his hands full. But with family history in the restaurant industry, his family ran an all-you-can-eat Cantonese-Canadian restaurant in Rexdale in the 1970s and ’80s, his passion for cooking runs deep.

We had the opportunity to chat with Chef Lui before he heads to Taste of Toronto with his team. Take a peek at our interview with him below.

How did you get your start in the industry?
Grew up in a restaurant family and came up on the hospitality side working in hotels, convention centres and casinos. Now I’ve found a circuitous route back to the restaurant world. 

How would you describe your culinary style?
Honest and simple.

What’s is your favourite dish that you’re serving at Taste of Toronto and why? 
Definitely our fried chicken. It’s made quite a mark on the city and even this event in 2016.  It’s uniquely ours but lends to the tradition of southern-style, bone in fried chicken with authentic Taiwanese flavours…and, it’s gluten-free!

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Fried Chicken from Kanpai Snack Bar

What do you think is the biggest misconception about the restaurant industry? 
That it’s a money-making machine; it’s so much more complex than people give credit to and truly, restaurants are a major life line to our economies and job market.

What’s your go-to meal to cook at home? 
Give me some eggs and I can make a meal out of anything.  Fried, boiled, scrambled, poached or otherwise, it’s a perfect central point or accoutrement to any meal of the day for me.

What are three other dishes at Taste of Toronto our readers should try? 
I encourage people to make full use of their session and try to give a sample of as much as possible. Sharing your food experiences allows for more dishes you can sample. I hear Chef Elia of Los Colibris has Top Chef Mexico chefs joining her for her one day pop up, so that’s a must! 

Trevor Lui

A spread from Kanpai Snack Bar

What’s one tip our readers should know to up their own game in their kitchens? 
Own at least one good all-purpose knife and cast iron pan/skillet. Spend some good money and take care of both of these pieces…they’ll be good to you in return.

If there was one thing in the restaurant industry you could change, what would it be? 
Finding a way how we can close the gap between food waste and food poverty as consumers and restaurants.

How do you think Taste of Toronto benefits the city’s restaurant scene?  It provides a backdrop to elevate our city as a true dining destination. 
Well thought out and curated content highlighting our diverse food culture that is accessible to every food lover is imperative.
 

RELATED LINK: Chef of the Week: Hans Vogels of Momofuku Noodle Bar 

Are there any other chefs you’d like to see profiled? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe

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