Master's of Cuisine, Wining & Dining

Chef’s Special – Max Tangjaitaweesuk

Chef Max Tangjaitaweesuk
Chef Max Tangjaitaweesuk, Photo Credit © Chester Simpson

Chef Max Tangjaitaweesuk
Zento Restaurant
693 North Washington St.
Old Town Alexandria
(703) 566-3695

When did you first become interested in cooking? Why did you decide to pursue a culinary career?
When I was 22, I had a chance to work in my uncle restaurant. I did learn a lot when I was there includes cooking. I was really enjoyed and totally in love with this career.

Who has been the biggest inspiration for your career?
My Uncle. He is a successful restaurateur who has 3 restaurants in Washington, DC (Sushi AOI, Haadthai restaurant and Noodles on 11). I hope to be successful and ready for my second restaurant in the future very soon.

What dish on the menu are you most curious to see how it is received by patrons?
Recently I put the Tako Yaki (Fried Octopus dumpling) on our menu. Tako Yaki is not a popular dish here in the United States but in Japan you can find it anywhere. I really wanted to see how people would like it.

What do you do to insure the quality of the food going out to customers?
The freshness of the ingredients, following the restaurant recipes, training all the cook staff to be knowledgeable about what they are doing is the key.

If any chef in the world could prepare you a meal, who would it be?
Sushi Chef Jiro Ono, he is an 87 year old sushi master. He is the first sushi chef in the world who received 3 Michelin stars. I wish I would have had a chance to try his food before he retired.

What is your guilty food pleasure?
White Tuna Sashimi with Spicy Yuzu sauce, I can eat it all day!!

Spider Roll, Photo Credit © Chester Simpson
Spider Roll, Photo Credit © Chester Simpson

Written by: Chester Simpson

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