To preview my upcoming AnnArbor.com post, here is an excerpt from my interview with Pacific Rim owner and executive chef, Duc Tang.
Q: What influences Pacific Rim’s menu?
A: The important thing for me is that my menu has precedence, that it is based on something original or authentic. Then it becomes my interpretation of that dish, or my way of making that dish more accessible, more palatable and more elegant.
Q: You were quoted as saying that you didn’t like the term ‘Asian fusion.’ Could you elaborate on that? What makes your menu unique?
A: Over the years, the term ‘fusion’ has developed a negative connotation. It has a connotation of forcing elements or flavors together that don’t belong together. For me, I don’t like to go too far off the well-trodden path; using Asian flavors and flavor combinations with respect to their heritage are what keep them intact.
Q: What is your advice for a novice chef?
A: Have fun doing it. If you’re the type that likes to follow instructions to the tee, or you’re methodical, then get some good cookbooks and follow the recipes. If you’re the type that feels your way through things, lead with some basics and follow your palate.
Check back later this week for more.