Chef’s Corner: For Jacky Lo, restaurants a great business career
Jacky Lo, executive chef at Wild Ginger, took an unusual route to culinary success. A middle-of-the-road business student, Lo pleaded with his family to let him quit and follow his gut instinct, to learn how to cook.
In Lo’s culture, the majority of people don’t understand needing to go to school to learn how to make good food. Against this notion, he insisted that was what he needed to do.
In 1994 Lo came to America and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Calif. Once armed with this respected education, he began to follow another great Western culinary tradition: working his way through restaurants and obtaining expertise from chefs and cooks he met along the way.
Lo worked as a chef at several Seattle restaurants before landing the coveted position at Wild Ginger and The Triple Door. His blend of traditional practices and modern techniques has helped him oversee the flagship Seattle location and the new location in Bellevue.
In 2006, Lo married his girlfriend of 12 years, Maggie, and these days they care for their two-year-old girl, Chloe. He says that his wife and child are his solace outside of the kitchen and strives to spend as much time with them as possible.
And other activities other than cooking and being with his family? Lo smiles and simply says: “No.”
Here are two salads Lo has created that readers can try in their own kitchens:
Lotus Root Salad
This crisp, light salad makes a nice accompaniment to a summer outing.
Combine with a spicy meat or fish dish to round out the meal.
1 lb Lotus root, peeled and sliced
2 C Water
2 Green onions, cut on bias
1 Tbl Sesame seeds, toasted
1Tbl Dark soy sauce
4 Tbl Soy sauce
1Tbl Sesame oil
1 Tbl Shaoxing rice wine vinegar
1.5 Tbl Sugar
4 slices Pickled ginger
Slice lotus root and blanch in boiling water for 15 -20 seconds. Drain and soak in vinegar/water solution. Combine the marinade ingredients in medium bowl. Drain and discard vinegar water and place lotus root slices in marinate for one hour at room temperature or overnight in refrigerator, tossing occasionally to coat. Arrange lotus root on plate and garnish with onions and sesame seeds.
Burmese Potato Salad
4 Tbl Oil (use the oil that you fried the shallots in below)
4 Tbl Tamarind juice
½ tsp Shrimp paste
3 Tbl Fish sauce
1 Tbl Sesame seeds, toasted and pounded
1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
2 oz White onion, chopped
2 Green chilies, seeded and finely minced
1 Tbl Shallots, fried until golden in 4 Tbl oil
½ C Mint, rough chopped
2 slices Bacon, cooked and minced
Prepare dressing in jar and shake. Steam or boil potatoes until tender and let cool slightly. Peel and cube potatoes while they’re still warm. Toss warm potatoes with dressing and all other ingredients. Serve immediately as part of a multicourse event.