“My blindfolded cucumber-chopping TikToks have millions of views”: This Mississauga chef just broke a world record

“My blindfolded cucumber-chopping TikToks have millions of views”: This Mississauga chef just broke a world record

Slicing wonder Wallace Wong on going viral for his chopping skills, his favourite GTA restaurants and breaking a Guinness record with one finger out of commission

In early February, Markham-born culinary sensation Wallace Wong set a new Guinness world record for the most cucumber slices chopped in 30 seconds—while blindfolded. The Top Chef Canada alum spoke with us about why he cooks with his shirt off, and how, exactly, one becomes the fastest chopper in the world

In early February, Mississauga-born culinary sensation Wallace Wong set a new Guinness World Record for the most cucumber slices chopped in 30 seconds—while blindfolded. Armed with a razor-sharp knife, Wong cut a single cucumber 166 times on the set of Lo Show Dei Records, an Italian TV show that features record attempts. Known as The Six Pack Chef on TikTok, Wong is no stranger to television: in 2019, he was a finalist on Top Chef Canada. We spoke to the Michelin-trained competitive chopping phenom about breaking a world record with a sprained finger, why he cooks with his shirt off and how to become the fastest slicer in the world.

How does one get on the path toward blindfolded cucumber slicing?
I was born into cooking. My parents immigrated from Hong Kong, and my dad ran a Canadian Chinese restaurant. As a kid, I spent my weekends learning to make dumplings and hot pot. Later, I went to Wilfred Laurier University to study business, but I missed cooking. So, in my second year, I enrolled at Conestoga College’s culinary school and pursued both degrees at once. I knew I wanted my future to have something to do with food.

That often means being a chef at a restaurant, but your path seems less conventional.
I spent my late teens and twenties sampling different work experiences. I shadowed chefs at places like Noma, a world-renowned Nordic restaurant in Copenhagen, and Alinea, in Chicago, which has three Michelin stars. After university, I worked at Momofuku in Toronto, but I eventually left the restaurant industry—I saw how overworked chefs can be and the toll it takes on them. I’m a cancer survivor: I’ve been in remission for 16 years. I know that life is too short to be unhappy at work. Later on, I tried working as a private chef and studying food science. I even helped a friend open Egg Bae in Kensington. But I most enjoy sharing my craft on social media.

Related: Meet the Etobicoke teacher going viral for her stylist outfits

Your TikTok account, which has 1.8 million followers, is called The Six Pack Chef. Where did the name come from?
Another thing I discovered in my twenties was working out. I was so scrawny—I looked like the kid from the movie Up. I wanted to build some muscle, so I created a TikTok that merged my hobbies, encompassing the three things I value most: eating good, looking good and living good. I always wanted it to be fun. I’d make reels where I pretended to be teaching Kendall Jenner how to chop, for example. One day, I saw a video of a guy cutting a cucumber to the beat of an EDM song. I thought: I can do that but faster. So I tried it. When I woke up the next morning, it had a million views. It led to a lot more TikTok videos where I take viewer requests of what to chop: apples, nuts, grains of rice—sometimes blindfolded.


My hands went 🕷#sixpackchef #chef #cooking #tiktokchef #tiktokchefs #nolook #hiteverybeat #knifeskills #chefskills #foodchallenge #speed #yum #snacks


Let’s back up: you’re cutting at more than five strokes a second in your record attempt. How did you learn to cut like that without losing a finger?
When I was working in restaurants, I tried chopping “eyes closed” every now and then for fun. As I started teaching cooking classes, I would do it to illustrate how practice can help you cut faster. Eventually, you can do it without looking. Proper technique, practice and repetition are key.

Your OG cucumber-cutting video was the second-most-watched TikTok in Canada in 2022. Is that what landed you on international television?
Yeah. In October 2022, Lo Show Dei Records reach out and invited me to Milan to take a crack at the record. I immediately accepted, but then I was changing my T-shirt one day and I heard a pop. Out of nowhere, the tendon of my left middle finger had snapped. I chop with my right hand, but that finger is important because it guards the rest of my left hand from the blade. My doctors told me not cut for six to eight weeks so as to not risk permanent damage. I was devastated. But I couldn’t let the opportunity pass, so I re-taught myself how to cut by guarding with my other fingers and letting my left middle finger dangle over the blade.

How did it feel to become a Guinness World Record holder on TV with only nine working fingers?
I’d been on TV before, on shows like Chopped Canada, Top Chef Canada and Fridge Wars. They all feel prestigious, but Guinness is next level. I was nervous. Plus, I was still getting used to my modified cutting technique. Afterward, I was ecstatic. This literally means I’m number one in the world. Plus, everybody I know buys the Guinness books. Of all my achievements, this one made my family the most proud.


I’m a Guinness World Record Holder🌏🏆 166 Slices in 30 Seconds…BLINDFOLDED🙈 I’ve been keeping this one a secret for some time now but I can officially share that I was given the opportunity to go on the Italian TV show #LoShowdeiRecord & attempt to set a New Guinness World Record… AND I DID IT!!! Growing up I loved watching shows of various people breaking & setting world records as well as reading them in their annual book📖 To think that now I can say I am one of those individuals who did it on a show & will be in the 2023 book is something I never imagined. Officially part of history & the first & only to do it😮‍💨 It’s crazy how life works & that’s the beauty of it. Host @gerryscotti TV Show @qui_mediset 🎥 @banijayitalia #guinnessworldrecord #guinnesseorldrecords #worldrecord #worldrecords #worldrecordholder #knifeskills #chefskills #cucumber #cucumbers #foodchallenge #foodchallenges

♬ original sound – Wallace W

Of all those cooking shows, which was your favourite?
Maybe Top Chef Canada. It’s like the NBA finals of cooking shows. It was in 2019, and I hadn’t worked in a restaurant for six years. I had to convince the producers to let me on. They said, “All these other contestants work at the best restaurants in Canada. Why should we give you a chance?” I told them that I was a freestyle chef who didn’t follow recipes. Once I was on, they branded me as unconventional. People online speculated that I’d be done by episode two, but I made it to the top four. It was cool to prove that you can be a chef without working in a restaurant.

Any tips for someone looking to get into competitive cooking?
Absorb all the cuisines, styles and techniques you encounter. You don’t have to use them all, but try everything. And listen to your grandparents. Mine taught me valuable lessons, like that if you over-season with bay leaves, your dish will taste like a sock. As for cutting, if you’re in the kitchen a lot, it’ll come organically. Also, different knives work for different people. Don’t worry about size or look, just pick something that works for you and invest in two of them. I’ve had the knife I used in the world record attempt since I was a student—I bought it on clearance at Williams Sonoma for $60. It just fits well in my hand.

What’s your favorite GTA restaurant?
I love Jeon Ju Hyang in Markham. My favourite dish is kimchi jjigae, a pork stew that comes with rice cakes, cabbage and dumplings. It says it’s for two people, but it really feeds four. I also like Bitter Melon on Spadina: the food is familiar, affordable and tasty. But I’m a low-key dude—I’m happy with a $5 ice cream from Bang Bang.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.