Having spent his childhood cooking for his family in Queensland, Chef Michael Hogan learned his craft as a chef’s assistant at a small restaurant just down the street from his home. Since then, his career has taken him to the kitchens of high-end hotels across Asia Pacific.
Chef Michael Hogan has won most recently as JW Marriott’s global ‘Chef of the Year’. You may go see him at Bangkok Marriott Queen’s Park Hotel
What are the top three go-to ingredients you always have in your home kitchen?
Firstly, eggs; you can create a quick snack to a complexed dish. Secondly, bacon; as the old saying goes, everything tastes better with bacon. And finally, fresh herbs from the garden – I just love it.
Your favorite dish to cook?
This question is tough as I love to cook many and varied dishes, but at the moment I am loving baking of all sorts of bread. I do enjoy cooking authentic Asian foods and treasured recipes; having spent time in India I enjoy blending spices to create curries. Pickling is high up there to; there is something nice about preserving produce in the prime of its season and pickling it to enjoy later. Smoking local fish is also a lot of fun, and it is always nice to have on standby for a quick dinner.
What makes your food and restaurants unique and different than others'?
Here at Goji Kitchen we cook your food to order, rather than preparing most of it before you arrive. This ensures you get fresh and tasty food. We focus on local ingredients and a farm-to-table concept. We work with many farmers and fisherman to bring you the best of Thailand.
Myths about food that makes you laugh?
There is a myth that you should not season your beef before cooking. Personally I love that crusty seasoned beefy flavor that comes from a well pre-seasoned steak.
Do you incorporate any CSR in your cooking?
This is what we try to do every day. We love to align our food with the community. At Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park we have done so much since opening. I must say I have a very good team that supports me.
Working with “Courageous Kitchen”, a cooking school for underprivileged kids; cooking for the Bangkok Chefs Charity every year, where we raise much-needed funds for the building of schools (this year’s event raising over THB 30 million for one dinner); growing our own greens in the hotel; working with the local fishing communities to fish responsibly and, in turn, assisting Thailand’s local dolphin population; and participating in mangrove planting events with my chefs. We have a lot more on the boil as well.
What are your rules for the kitchen?
Even the best food in the world can bring you down if you’re in a mess, so cook clean. Also, make sure you taste your food during cooking. And a big one “Don’t let anything perish” I hate waste particularly if it had a heart beat or some dedicated farmer toiled in a field to bring it thus far.
What advice would you give to aspiring young chefs?
Answer: Learn and understand what you are doing, cook with passion, and if it’s not right, start again.
Tell us more about any awards that you’re proud of? From which event?
I was privileged to be named “Chef of the Year” for Marriott international in 2014. This award took me to the USA to meet Mr Bill Marriott. I also recently received the 2017 “Chef of the Year” award for Marriott International in Asia Pacific. This was a great honor and it has to be partly attributed to my super-passionate team and the great hotel, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, that I am privileged to work in.