Eating and cooking are Pichet Ong’s hobby and heartbeat. As a chef, Pichet combines fond flavors of his childhood and travels with classic techniques to create sweet and savory foods that are pure, whimsical, and experimental, yet nostalgic. His food can be found worldwide, from New York to Sydney, Istanbul to Beijing, Tokyo to Washington, DC.
Formerly an architect – with a Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, Pichet is a self-taught chef. He is a Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America in Pastry Arts & Design. He’s been named “Rising Star” by Starchefs, a “Pastry Provocateur” by Pete Wells in Food & Wine. He has many features in Saveur, W, Elle, Vogue, Tatler, and O, the Oprah magazine. He is the only pastry chef to headline “The Chef” column in The New York Times for 2 months.
His desserts have received multiple 3-star reviews in the New York Times, a Michelin star, and placement in Pellegrino’s the Worlds 50 Best. He is a multiple nominee for the James Beard Award in different categories. He is resident judge on Food Network’s Cake Wars and Sugar Dome, and Bravo’s Top Chef.
Pichet’s book – The Sweet Spot – was “year’s best” listed in The New York Times, Gourmet, Publisher’s Weekly, and World Gourmand.
After closing his tasting menu only restaurant p*ong in 2009, Pichet followed a path that led him to culinary consulting on all food related business. Some of his clients include Jean Georges Vongerichten, Max Brenner, 7-11, Tao, Victoria’s Secrets, Häagen-Dazs worldwide. He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia, and is director of pastry for Foreign National. His latest – Brothers and Sisters at the Line Hotel – with Erik Bruner-Yang in Washington DC – features cakes that Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appétit “can’t stop thinking about.” He is working on next book about coconuts.
What does being a part of the LUCKYRICE inaugural dinner series signify to you?
As a founding LUCKYRICE Culinary Council Member, I’m always excited to showcase my food to all fans of Asian flavors! I’m a big eater of Asian food. I grew up with it – and particularly regional Chinese and Thai foods. LUCKYRICE brings to the forefront everyone else with the same passion for the same foods I love.
What do you think of the Asian food moment right now?
For me I travel a lot for food – and am particular fond of eating in like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Japan, and Thailand. And within those countries I became familiar with their regional cuisines. When I first arrived in the — even in New York City or San Francisco – I found refined Asian food to be lacking. For me, on a global level — it’s always been the moment, however now in the US where I live – Asian cuisines are definitely uprising — including previously less common Filipino or Laotian, or specific regional Sichuan, Isaan, Nyonya, Shanghainese or Chau Chou which is what I mostly ate at home.