SA chef makes waves in Vietnam as passion for food takes him on culinary, hospitality adventure

A South African chef named Chang Sheng Ye, also known as Peter, has found success in Vietnam after pursuing his passion for food. Ye, who grew up in Gqeberha, became interested in cooking while watching television shows like Hell’s Kitchen. He initially trained in hospitality but later decided to study culinary arts part-time, realizing that it was his true calling. After obtaining a Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking from Capsicum Culinary Studio, Ye worked at various establishments in Johannesburg, including Emperors Palace, the InterContinental OR Tambo, and Hilton Sandton Hotel. He also competed in culinary competitions, achieving recognition as one of the top five chefs in Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean.

In 2016, Ye seized the opportunity to work abroad and became the executive chef for the five-star Mia Resort Nha Trang in Vietnam. He further climbed the ladder of success in the culinary and hospitality industries and this year opened The Anam Mui Ne, a luxury resort that is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group. Ye aspires to open his own small and trendy restaurant, offering a fusion of East and West cuisine. His food idols include Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay, and other top chefs, and he dreams of cooking for Ariana Grande, Elon Musk, Gordon Ramsay, the Dalai Lama, and Lee Ji-eun, a South Korean singer-songwriter.

Ye advises aspiring chefs to put in the necessary effort and take advantage of opportunities, but warns that the industry demands long hours and sacrifices personal time. He emphasizes the importance of teamwork and going above and beyond to excel in different sections. Despite the challenges, Ye remains passionate about his career and believes that hard work will bring success. If he had to choose a last meal, Ye would opt for lobster ravioli with shaved white truffle, and he would prepare a spit roast for his dream guests, as it allows for more time to engage in conversation and creates a relaxed atmosphere.