Co-Founder & Executive Chef ABANICO Your Deli Restaurant
ABANICO is a chef-driven neighbourhood deli restaurant, serving a blend of European flavours with an added Japanese-Asian flair. Co-owned and run by Eric (formerly the Executive Chef from DoubleTree Hilton Kuala Lumpur) and his lovely wife Thang Han-Ni (formerly the Marketing Director of key hotel chains of global standards), ABANICO has been thriving through the good and bad, by constantly working in the spirit of optimism, the goodness of customers and the kindness of strangers.
Hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Eric started his culinary career in 2002 as Commis de Cuisine in Park Hotel Vitznau, Switzerland. A person on-the-go who thrives on the excitement of kitchen and banquet planning, Eric landed himself in exciting pre-opening ventures for noted establishments such as Prego in The Westin Kuala Lumpur, SUDU in Hilton Kuala Lumpur and Rossio Restaurant in MGM Grand Macau.
Today, with over 19 years of experience under his belt, Eric has proven that coming out from the cocoon of hotel corporate into the brave world of entrepreneurship, is well worth the pain and effort. His craft and passion are evident in his modern interpretation of European and Asian cuisine, a talent that had led him to winning a gold medal in the cold food category at the 2013 Salon Culinaire Mondial, a competition that represents culinary art at the top-most level.
Graduated and trained in Switzerland, Eric has always believed food is no longer just a necessity, but a passion, an ongoing, deeply personal, insightful experience. “When creating a menu, I think of how each ingredient complements one another to ensure a satisfying merging of distinct flavors and textures” says Eric. When not in ABANICO stirring up a Beef Bourguignon or grilling an A5 Matsusaka or roasting an Aussie Lamb Rack, this self-confessed foodie is also a passionate dog lover, who together with Han-Ni contribute their time into rescuing and fostering dogs until they find a suitable permanent home. Driving at high speeds in motor rallies for pure adrenaline rush, or deep-sea fishing for relaxation and quiet reflection are indulgence he won’t say no, too.
- Interned with Chef Patrick Diethelm, the coach of Swiss national team.
- Led and coached the Malaysia National Culinary Team for Food & Hotel Asia’s 2016 Culinary Challenge in April 2016 in Singapore.
- Gold medal for Salon Culinaire Mondial 2013, in Basel, represented Malaysia national team.
- Selected by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) for their 2014 “Chef On Tour” culinary road tour to review Australian produce, as featured in Australia Network.
- Earned 2014 and 2015 Excellence Awards for publications Expatriate Lifestyle and Time Out KL for Malaysian buffet restaurant.
- Hosted notable wine dinners including the 2011 & 2015 Chaine des Rotisseurs and 2014 Amanti Della Cucina Italiana.
- Been interviewed and judged on various TV programs, including The Apprentice Asia 2013, Master Chef Asia 2013 and Li on Life Inspired 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRpW1f9UN5c.
- Silver medal in Salon Culinaire Mondial 2005 for individual hot cooking and Bronze Medal in cold display, represented Malaysia national team.
- Gold medal in in ZAGG Cooking Competition 2002 in IGEHO, Switzerland (Swiss Central International Hospitality and Gastronomy Exhibition) for individual hot cooking.