Chef Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation - Biography
Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China
Alvin Leung is a bit of hell raiser when it comes to Chinese cuisine—it’s no coincidence that he has “demon chef” tattooed on his arm. Leung has been raising eyebrows in Hong Kong since he started cooking in a unlicensed, speak-easy style restaurant called Bo Innoseki in 2003. With the success of his underground ground-breaking, Leung was able to go mainstream (and legal) in 2005 and open Bo Innovation in the business district Wan Chai.
But before Leung started reinventing traditional Chinese dishes, he studied engineering; this technical training ended up being a cornerstone to his present day high-tech cookery. Leung, who was born in London and raised in Toronto, also traveled extensively as a child and was introduced to various cultures and foods early on in life. Once Leung realized his fate was sealed in the restaurant world, he made it a point to travel even more and explore the outer boundaries of what food can be.
A self-taught cook, Leung trained his culinary imagination and palate by regularly dining at renowned cutting-edge restaurants, like Ferran Adria’s el Bulli, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, and those of Joël Robuchon. Possessed with the idea that modern diners want more than just a tasty meal, but a chance to indulge all of their senses and be pushed to the limits, Leung set about experimenting with the ideas he developed from his travels.
He decided to take Chinese food in a very different direction and branded it “X-treme Chinese.” His devil-may-care approach to a very ancient and tradition-based has been embraced by many, criticized by a few, and always pushing the limits of cuisine. Leung will spend months perfecting a dish, tweaking techniques and ingredients until it’s exactly what he wants. The results are always distinct, a combination of classic Cantonese cuisine with French and Japanese flare and uber-modern technique.
In 2009, Bo Innovation received two Michelin stars; it’s Hong Kong’s only independent restaurant to achieve that rating. What’s more, Leung’s mounting global reputation has landed him on the stages of culinary symposiums, like Identita Golose in Milan and Identita London in 2010. Other than the main stage of the 2010 ICC in New York, we wonder where his wicked brand of extreme cuisine will take him to next?