Bryant Ng

The Fusion Artist, Chef Of The Year, 2012

Why We Picked Him: Initially the Mozza-with-lemongrass notion seemed a reach, but Ng has continued to expand on an idea in which a custom wood-burning grill (modeled after a street vendor’s charcoal box) is used to mine classic Chinese, Singaporean, and Vietnamese cuisine. Just Grillin’: “I use almond wood, and because wood can be fickle, I use lump charcoal, too. But there are so many stages before you get to the grill. Just skewering a good satay requires skill. You have to make sure the fat is in just the right places. If you load it up like a great big kabob, it’s not going to be what you want. My grandparents had a restaurant called Bali Hai on Main Street, and my parents ran Wok Way in Northridge. It’s a cheesy name, I know. Even as a kid, I was like, are you serious? Here I’m trying to capture the soul of dishes without replicating them.”

Where to Find Him: The Spice Table