Inside Patois chef Craig Wong’s kitchen
Craig Wong and his wife, high-school sweetheart Ivy Lam, bought their Alexandra Park condo back in 2006. They’ve outgrown the one-bedroom, but house hunting is not a priority right now. “Before I opened Patois, we were always having friends over for dinner,” says Wong, whose fridge is rammed with a mix of international goodies. These days, the couple is lucky if they can grab five meals a week together.
To make up for their lack of alone time, the two travel together whenever possible. They recently spent two weeks in Japan. “We always bring back edible gifts for people,” says Wong, “and they do the same for us.” If friends or family are headed to Hong Kong, Wong asks them to bring back shrimp paste. “It looks like what I imagine a brick of heroin looks like,” he jokes. His Jamaican cousins always bring him fresh pimento leaves and seeds, which he uses for jerk paste. “I don’t like to make jerk chicken at home because we have it so often at the restaurant. Instead I’ll make jerk pork jowls or jerk pork belly on the barbecue.”
The fridge door is covered with over 50 food-themed magnets, which Wong and Lam collect on their travels:
Just like the fridge, the neatly organized (and labelled!) cupboards are full of international dried and canned goods:
Both Wong and Lam used to work at Williams-Sonoma (mostly for the 40 per cent discount) and they stocked up on All-Clad cookware. The five-foot wire shelf holds all their extra pots and pans. “The kitchen is spilling out into the living room,” says Lam.
There are two knife blocks on the counter, but Wong keeps the good ones in this knife bag:
When Wong spied these antique ice tongs at a Paris flea market they were blackened with tarnish. He loves the bear paw details:
Wong has three bookshelves dedicated to his collection of 400 cookbooks, and many of them are signed. This book by Alain Ducasse was signed by chef Christophe Moret, who was responsible for the recipes inside:
Lam and Wong don’t drink a lot at home, but they like to pick up premium bottles when they travel:
These apples were a gift from a friend for Chinese New Year:
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Previously, this post listed an incorrect author for the cookbook. It has since been updated.