Andy Chung in his own words....
My training began as a child in Hong Kong where my family followed a subsistence style of living, growing and farming our own food. Even as a child I was taught about cuts of meat and fish, and the importance of fine ingredients. I still return to Hong Kong from time to time to find new ideas, as there are always things to discover in such an exciting place.
When i opened my first restaurant, The Amber, in Glasgow's West End in 1974, the Scottish people's tastes had developed and moved away from the takeaway Chinese and Indian culture which so popular when I first arrived from Hong Kong over 30 years ago. At The Amber, we were quick to realise that eating habits were also changing-dining in a restaurant was no longer reserved for special occasions, but people still expected good food cooked well. We have built our repution at the Amber Regent on the high standards which we set at the beginning - hard work, good service and quality. I think our patrons appreciate the work that goes into that and they aren't prepared to accept anything less.
One of the most important lessions i have learnt is that good preparation is vital to the smooth running of the restaurant, so we try to be ready for every situation. We have had power cuts, slightly rowdy guests and even Mick Jagger dropping in. Nothing surprises me any more - except, perhaps, when one of my golfing heroes arrives. Golf is great love and I have my photographs, taken with Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie, in pride of place in the entrance-way. If I'm not at the Amber Regent, then you'll probably find me on the golf course - especially now that after many years of long hours and late nights i've taken a back seat and passed on the day-to-day running of the restaurant to my daughter Christina.
I have always tried to raise standards of Chinese cuisine by refusing to cut corners. I still insist on the freshest seasonal produce in my restaurants-something that's vital to authentic Cantonese cooking. Scottish ingredients play an important part in the menu - sliced venison in Mandarin sauce is very popular especially with visitors from overseas and from South of the border. I have found that locally-produced ingredients give an interesting siant on traditional Chinese recipes.
A the Amber Regent the combination of Scottish and Chinese styles even extends to the decor - with the use of dark, Regency colours, Oriental pottery and paintings of Chinese scenes by a Glasgow artist. It creates a very welcoming ambience.