Interviews Luo Bing: Chinese chef captures Dubai’s gourmet society By Lidia Janjic 7 min read chef luo bing Luo Bing is chef at ‘Maiden Shanghai’ located at the FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai. This authentic specialty restaurant is influenced by four distinct regional cuisines – Cantonese, Sichuan, Shanghai and Beijing. ‘Maiden Shanghai’ conceptualises Chinese home cooking. I was introduced to Bing by our mutual friend Daniel Kaleb and had the honour to enjoy the taste of Bing’s amazing private cuisine and see him live in action, preparing imaginative dishes, which were new to me, like a delicious bitter melon dish with its impressive health benefits. Platter by platter were served and I asked myself, who will eat all this tasty food? No worries – it just disappeared. Our homely get-together was followed by a Chinese tea ceremony on the balcony and I wanted to know more about Bing’s remarkable career. Before Luo Bing came to Dubai, he was chef at several prodigious restaurants … You travelled a lot and worked as chef around the globe. Can you tell us your career path? – I worked as chef in many places in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Barcelona, London, Norway, Germany … In one of London’s most famous buildings, The Shard, I have worked as executive chef for almost 3 years at the Hutong restaurant, which is the most memorable job I’ve ever done. It was challenging by working conditions, but at the same time very exciting. We catered for 400 to 500 guests daily in this renowned, traditionally decorated restaurant and prepared authentic Northern Chinese food like Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai. In Barcelona I worked for two companies – as consultant for the luxury and famous Tragaluz Group and as specialty chef for the reputable airline catering company Gate Gourmet in charge of Singapore Airlines. In Malaysia I recreated, developed and run two restaurants with my partners, which later have become two of the most popular restaurants in KK (Kota Kinabalu). With Europe I have fallen in love while I was working as consultant in Norway and Bulgaria. In Germany I did presentations for Gate Gourmet/ Singapore Airlines and I like the German accuracy and organising ability. For me Germans are lovely, well-educated and open-minded people eager to try something new. I’m a passionate chef interested in different cuisines and cultures. What brought you to Dubai? – I got a very special offer while I was working in London to join the newly opened Viceroy hotel in Dubai and run an authentic Chinese restaurant there, which today is the Maiden Shanghai in the luxury hotel and resort FIVE Palm Jumeirah. Maiden Shanghai embraces a special concept of bringing together authentic Chinese food from different regions of China and creating and developing a new concept which introduces gourmet Chinese food to the Middle East market. Our guests love our food and enjoy the original taste as a new experience. What is your favourite dish you love to prepare for your guests? – It’s hard to choose only one dish. I love to prepare the lobster, the beef, the Peking duck and a variety of vegetarian dishes. I enjoy interacting with my guests and answering their questions about food and cooking, because I think creating dishes is an art in itself. This communication inspires me to create new food experiences. If cooking is your first love, what comes right after it? – I would like to travel even more and get inspired by the art and culture of different societies and to open a conceptual restaurant, which is interactive and where guests are involved in the process of creating food, where they can unleash their talents in a diversity of artistic fields like music, painting and cultural education. Imagine cooking and painting workshops for kids and adults organised at one place where you feel at home … How do you spend your free time? – I like to walk outdoors as much as I can. I enjoy natural environment – the desert, the mountains, the sea … If you could pick only one word to describe our relation, which word would you choose? – Friend.