Chef Wan holds many tags and roles – professional chef, ambassador, actor, motivator, speaker, host, coach, critic, entrepreneur and author. All these from one thing he is good at – food. Food makes him famous. Food makes him rich. Food makes him travel all over the world.
He has to date cooked for many famous personalities which include the Sultan of Brunei as well the former US President, Bill Clinton. But he is not just good at making great food; he owns this unique persona that will mesmerize his audience and make them wish they can watch him all day long. His old style of mak-nenek-nagging never fail to captivate people. In short, he is one hell of a celebrity.
He is considered Malaysia’s answer to Britain’s Jamie Oliver and America’s Martha Stewart.
Not many people know the fact that the Singapore-born cook was a qualified accountant but due to his deep interest in cooking, he quit his accounting profession, learned cooking and become a professional chef. He knew there had to be some turning point in his life and that happened 17 years ago.
Even though he knew his decision would disappoint his father back then but he could no hold back his passion and was no longer willing to lie to himself. As an accountant, he was dressing the corporate suit and tie but deep in his heart it is not the kind of life and work style he had wanted. Seven years working for a bank made him felt enough is enough. He was desperate for a career change and wanted to do something he loves and that is going to be food. He is a living testament of ‘Cherish your passion, follow your heart, do what you love to do, and the money will follow.‘
Looking back at the turning point, no one will argue that Chef Wan never regretted his decision to switch profession. Even though he was made to go back to school toiling with all the kitchen stuff and at the same time funding his own studies, the reward is fulfilling.
Chef Wan, whose full name is Redzuawan Ismail, graduated from California Culinary Academy, San Francisco, United States with a degree in Professional Chef Training and Hotel Management. He also holds a Diploma from the Ritz Hotel, Paris, France.
For the past decade or so, he has been a familiar face in the international arena, representing Malaysia as ambassador in food expo and tourism exhibitions around the world. He has appeared in worldwide news and programs such as in CBBC Asia, CNN, Channel News Asia and so on.
At 49, he is now living to taste the by-products of his own sacrifice in the form of interviews, VIP invitation, brand ambassador appointments, luxurious penthouse, and reaping royalties from his shows and best selling books.