Beijing, 20 August 2013 – China World Summit Wing, Beijing has appointed Guven Uyanik as chef de cuisineof its signature restaurant, Grill 79. The highest restaurant in Beijing, Grill 79 soars 300 metres above the ground and offers exquisite Western-style cuisine complemented by unparalleled views across the city.
Within a fine-dining world dominated by traditional style, Chef Guven is an exception to the rule. He proudly defines his cooking style as “deformalised fine dining” and follows the philosophy of “cooking without boundaries”, in which premium ingredients are at all times the top priority.
Chef Guven’s career has taken him on a journey from Cyprus to London and Vancouver, as well as to Shanghai and Hong Kong. He has worked with renowned chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry, a Michelin three-star restaurant where a table for dinner had to be booked four months in advance. It was a challenging and interesting experience for Chef Guven, because the menus at The French Laundry changed daily, depending on the produce.
“Perfectionism, cooking techniques and management skills – that’s what I learnt,” said Chef Guven about his experience with Chef Keller.
Chef Guven has also worked in the kitchens of Gordon Ramsay at Maze, where he created French cuisine with an Asian inspiration, and at Claridge’s, a classical French venue in London. Both restaurants have a Michelin one-star. He also managed the Kee Club in Hong Kong and in Shanghai, where he was most recently the group chef.
Turkish by origin, Chef Guven grew up in Canada, but he is a true citizen of the world. He enjoys working in China and looks forward to impressing the sophisticated Beijing crowd with his creations from the kitchen of Grill 79. On the soon-to-launch menu, Chef Guven features Grill 79 signature dishes, which are returning by popular demand, while he has also created new items to enhance the menu. He will also update the business lunch menu regularly and conceptualise the breakfast selection.
Chef Guven believes that although the aesthetic appeal of each dish he creates is of great importance, the quality of the ingredients must not be compromised under any circumstances. Carefully balancing the flavours and textures of each dish, the chef uses a wide range of ingredients to enhance the beauty of his culinary creations.
If music is to please your ears and paintings are to satisfy your eyes, cooking as another form of art powerfully wakes up all your five senses. To quote Leonardo da Vinci, Chef Guven also believes that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, as many of his signature innovations are made from the simplest ingredients.
“I also have my own signature dishes and one of them is Pigeon Cooked ‘Guven Style’. Others are Barbeque Pigeon with Pear and Saffron Limoncello Jelly. The latter is my favourite ingredient,” said Chef Guven. “However, even though I have worked in a number of world-renowned Michelin-starred restaurants, my cooking inspirations are mostly from street food.”
When asked what he thinks of himself as a chef, Guven answered ‘meticulous, creative, straightforward, and respectful to the ingredients’. “Surprisingly though’, he added ‘even though I have worked in a number of world renewed Michelin-starred restaurants, my cooking inspirations are mostly from street food.’ That is why his dishes, a modern take on traditional favourites, have got everyone talking.
Chef Guven likes to surprise by experimenting with different textures: making fennel and caramelised onion powders from dehydrated ingredients to top off his dishes and foaming sauces to give them a lighter and cleaner flavour. However, he prefers to maintain the original shapes of the ingredients and does not like even cuts.
“Fine-dining for today’s discerning crowd is refined, but approachable. This is my main goal – to make it a pleasant and easy experience. I want guests to understand what they eat,” said the 29-year-old chef.
China World Summit Wing, Beijing is located on the top floors of the capital’s latest landmark, the China World Tower. With unrivalled views over the city, the hotel soars 330 metres above the China World Trade Center in the heart of Beijing’s central business district.