Saturday, 10 May 2014

Interview with Chef Albert Frantzen of F by Buffalo Kitchens, Bangsar

Chef Albert Frantzen


Chef Albert Frantzen has recently revamped the menu at F by Buffalo Kitchens adding in pork dishes and giving it a distinctly European theme. Here he spends a few minutes with The Yum List sharing some of his experiences behind the scenes and inspiration for the new menu.


What do you do and how did you get into the industry? 

I am executive chef at F by Buffalo Kitchens, and have been in Malaysia for over two years now. My career in the kitchen started quite early, at 16 years old. I started dishwashing and doing cold food prep in Alibi Supperclub. I moved quickly up the ranks and due to a dispute between the owner and the executive chef I saw myself as head chef at the age of 17! It was challenging I must say. I had to take leave from my culinary school to devote all my time to the restaurant. It was a true test of character.It was a big relief when the owner hired a new executive chef six weeks later.I could start my culinary school again.

What's the best/ worst part of your job?  

The best part is feeling free to be creative and experiment with food and also seeing peoples reactions and comments about your work on a daily basis It's very encouraging.  

The worst part is probably not having time for the people you really care about.

What's your personal favorite meal at F by Buffalo Kitchens?
Beetroot Cured salmon with smoked roe is my favorite. It reminds me of home and the flavor is so natural. It's also known as gravlax which means buried salmon. It's a recipe from the middle ages, and back then when salt was very expensive the fishermen buried the salmon or other fatty fish under the sand so the salty seawater would cure the fish.

What's one of the most outrageous things you've seen behind the scenes?

When I first came to Malaysia I was working in a big local restaurant to gain some knowledge about local food and culture. The kitchen was so dirty and big rats and cockroaches were running every where. The cooks working there didn't seem bothered about it. It was shocking to see restaurant owners  being so careless about people's health.

The perfect day off would be… 

The perfect day off would be a big family party, having a bbq. Everyone would be dancing and drinking until late, and the next morning before people head home having a nice cava brunch.

A life in the day of a chef is..

For an executive chef it is very important to keep the spirit and quality of your chef crew on a high, be inventive and create new dishes. Being a leader and not a boss is important as a restaurant needs to work as one unit to give to best possible evening for the guests. Of course there is some paperwork as well.

What do you do for fun?

I love to travel so whenever I have time a will go.

What's something you'd like guests to know about the cuisine prepared at F Concept by Buffalo Kitchens?

The menu is created with a nordic view on European cuisines. I recommend you share the dishes so you can make your way through the menu. We only cook with Buffalo cookware and use induction only.

How do you select your ingredients and why? 

Personally I always aim to use local ingredients, however I often find that the quality from overseas is better sometimes due to better storage, transportation and care for the product.

What's your view on the KL restaurant scene?

There are so many different restaurants here it's amazing. Whatever you want you can find it. Pay RM4 or RM200 per plate, it's up to you. Taxation on alcohol is makes affordable pricing difficult.  I'd like to see in the future improved hygiene inspections for restaurants.

To see some of Chef Albert's creations follow this link.

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