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Cheong Liew
, c. 1999

by Kate Gollings

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 60.7 cm x 50.6 cm, image: 50.4 cm x 40.4 cm)

Cheong Liew - whom the US magazine Food and Wine recently named one of the ten "hottest chefs alive" - learnt the basics of cooking in his native Malaysia, in the Kuala Lumpur kitchen of his grandmother. He came to Australia in 1969, working in a string of Melbourne pubs and cafés before settling in Adelaide. At the steakhouse Moos he turned heads with his use of Asian vegetables - then a novelty to Australian diners. He opened his own restaurant, Neddy's, in 1975, and continued to revolutionise the Adelaide scene. From 1995 to the present he has been consultant chef at The Grange at Adelaide's Hilton Hotel. It was at The Grange that he created his signature dish - "Four Dancers of the Sea", which features four varieties of seafood cooked in four distinct national styles. South Australia's best-known chef, Cheong Liew holds an Order of Australia Medal for 'developing and influencing the style of contemporary Australian cuisine.'

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2004
Accession number: 2004.182