Diary of a Wild Child - Meet Lulu Wild's esteemed and (wildly) creative Chefs.

Meet Lulu Wild’s esteemed and (wildly) creative Chefs.

Dear diary,

At Lulu Wild, our team of experienced Chefs source the best ingredients from around the world to create and supply freshly cooked dishes, 7 days a week, for you to indulge in. From the heart of China to the soul of our kitchen, delivered directly to your table. 

Our Executive head chef, Derrick Chen, joined us from London and helped to bring our vision of serving chinese rich creations to life. He has helped us to develop and put together our carefully crafted menu full of fresh, flavoursome dishes.

Our plates are the perfect balance of Chinese history with a modern, contemporary twist. Born from an artistic vision, and developed with the help of Chinese culture, history and legends, our plates take aspects from today’s world and the old world for you to experience first hand. 

Our chefs’ experience in many cuisines, being born from Hong Kong, Sichuan and Malaysia, they are able to understand our dishes and deliver pieces of China on a plate. 

I invited Derrick to join me so I could ask him about his life as a chef, and working to help bring Lulu Wild to life. Carry on scrolling down to learn more about our Executive head chef and his life before Lulu Wild.

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Q&A

with our Executive Chef

Derrick Chen

Responsible for the plates served within Lulu Wild’s home, we introduce Derrick Chen. Chef Derrick Chen has artfully crafted dishes for over 20 years, bringing his visions to life in sensational ways. Chef Chen is a welcomed addition in the opening of Lulu Wild Birmingham. Offering a cuisine that Birmingham needs, high-end, luxury culinary dishes born from China’s deep rooted cuisine.  

What inspired you to become a chef?

I have always liked to eat food, and have always loved Cantonese and Chinese cuisine. I have always had a passion for Chinese food, and because of this I have always loved the idea of working with Chinese cuisine. 

What’s your favourite type of cuisine to eat?

I love to eat Chinese, Asian and Malaysian cuisine. There’s too many dishes that I love to choose a specific favourite, but if I had to choose I would say a spicy dish such as Rendang Lamb. But non-spicy dishes such as roast Duck and roast Pork.

What are your favourite ingredients to cook with?

My favourite ingredients would always have to be Chinese ingredients. But I love putting Chili Oil in dishes along with XO sauce, anything that can add a bit of spice. My favourite meat to cook with would be Black Cod, as it’s a bit more high end and better quality.

Are there any foods that you don’t like eating?

I can normally eat most foods, I enjoy eating food. However, Black Pudding is not my first choice when choosing what to eat.

What’s your favourite kitchen gadget?

My favourite kitchen gadget would have to be the knife as it can do so much, it’s normally the first thing you pick up when you go into the kitchen. And also a combi-oven, as it can steam, grill and roast food for us, it has many functions and is very helpful.

Sweet or savoury? 

So I like both sweet and savoury foods. I love chocolate, tiramisu, and ice cream. But I would always prefer to eat savoury first and follow it with something sweet. If I had to choose one, I would say savoury as there is a bigger variety of dishes with savoury ingredients.

What’s your earliest childhood memory of food?

My mother’s cooking. She always used to cook us traditional chinese food growing up, I think that’s why I ended up becoming a chef, because I grew up watching my mother having passion for her cooking and it always stuck with me. She always used to cook us steamed chicken and pork, and we had steamed fish a lot. 

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?

A chef, I would always be a chef. But if for some reason I was not a chef I would still love to work with food. Maybe a food critic, as I love to eat and this way I would get to try lots of different foods and review them. But I would also love to be a cooking teacher so I can teach people how to cook with traditional chinese flavours.

What has been your favourite moment in your career as a chef?

I have been a chef for many years, and working to help develop the menu at Lulu Wild along with training the chefs has been special to me as I got the chance to be involved with how Lulu Wild became who she is today. Now we are up and running, I have the chance to work on future menus along with any changes we want to make.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a chef?

Patience, experience, hard work.

You need to have patience and understand it may take time to get where you want to be, just take it step by step. You also need to be willing to get all of the experience that you can, and be willing to put the hard work in.

Was there any inspiration for the dishes at Lulu Wild?

My mother used to make us Dumplings when we were younger, and it was a special memory to me. I always wanted to incorporate dumplings into my cooking, whether it’s serving them at the restaurant, creating a menu around them or teaching people how to cook them. 

Where do the dishes in Lulu Wild originate from?

Our dishes come from various regions across China, we have Hong Kong, Cantonese and Sichuan inspired dishes. Our roast duck is Cantonese cuisine, our Satay is Malaysian and the sauce on our spicy Tofu dish is inspired from Sichuan, but I have amended it by making it slightly less spicy as Sichuan people love very spicy food.

Love lulu x