A Day Off with Chuck Hughes

Chefs with tattoos look cute. Yes..I admit that Chuck Hughes of Asian Food Channel's Chuck's Day Off is certainly cute with or without the tattoos. And those tattoos just make him even better. Chuck is passionate about food. So passionate that he has food tattooed on his arms and his body. He's almost a walking tattooed menu. And since the man actually ate durians during his trip, and loved it, we should be seeing a durian tattoo on him real soon!
a rather yummy tattoo
Over the week I was invited to an exclusive demo to catch Chuck Hughes in action. Its amazing that chefs make cooking look so easy and its one of the reasons that I have actually picked up cooking. The cooking demo (and of course tasting) was held at The Ritz Carlton. 3 dishes were featured and I'll be sharing the recipes over time...which starts tomorrow with The Popcorn Shrimp with Spicy Honey.
Throughout the session, Chuck thrills us with his tattoo stories. Chuck also shares some cooking tips that I think makes lots of sense (and cents):
• We should add salt to make food taste better. I think this is true even in making certain sweet desserts.
• One can always improvise while cooking. This is clearly seen during the demonstration of the dessert that we had.
• When coating something in batter, we should always add flour first followed by the egg. This enables the egg to stick better to our choice meat etc.
• The perfect temperature to fry chips is 275 degrees.

Food time...

The Popcorn Shrimp with Spicy Honey is a rather simple dish. In fact this is one of the first dishes he created for when he was working for other restaurants. This is a delightful dish that I reckon makes a god appetizer. Crunchy outside and soft inside its good to be eaten on its own. The tangy sauce is what makes the difference as we then get a slightly salty, spicy, sweet and tangy taste coating every bite of the crispy "popcorns". 
crispy on the outside like a popcorn 
My fave is the Pan Seared Beef Carpaccio with Potato Chips, Fried Capers and Lemon Aioli. In fact it looks rather simple, we should be making this at home real soon. Every bite was juicy meat with a lovely finish from the lightly spiced outside. The potato crisp does remind me a little of our CNY ngaku or arrowhead chips.
pink and juicy beef carpaccio
One can always improvise while cooking. And this is evident when we were served our Chocolate Tapioca Arancini. Originally this dish calls for tapioca. However, I think something probably happened and Chuck brought us on an adventure with rice.

Thus we had Chocolate Rice Arancini. The inspiration for this dish came about from leftover risotto rice (I love the idea of minimal wastage). A chocolate ganache is and cocooned in a rice ball coated with Panko bread crumbs. This ball is then deep fried. Absolutely decadent when eaten warm and its giving me a new insight to rice other than our regular way of eating rice and my Alaskan experience of cold rice with milk, raisins and cinnamon.
Chuck’s Day Off, which shows Chuck cooking for friends, family or suppliers on the day his restaurant Garde Manger is closed. Catch Chuck’s Day Off every Wednesday at 9:00p.m. on Astro Channel 703.

Do visit and for more information. For more info on Chuck, catch up with him on his Facebook page
Chuck in his kitchen
Some other pics from the day:
A very happy Baby Sumo

Obviously Chuck had to bend a little to compensate for 5' me
A tattoo of a pineapple fish based on Chuck's sketch
Chuck's first tattoo. He had the words Mom inscribed. Perhaps I should do the same to convince hubster that I can have my own tattoo.
Simplicity and yumminess
275 degrees is the perfect temperature for deep frying
My other experience with Asian Food Channel's chefs:
The Perfect Cut with Adrian Richardson
• Hello Dino Ferrari!