I started cooking because I’ve always seriously loved eating and needed to know how things were made. It all began when I moved away from home for the first time, and I craved Cambodian food so badly and started cooking to comfort myself from homesickness.

My friends convinced me to go to cooking school in Paris. From there, I had a lot of great work opportunities and learned a lot. I also realized it was the only thing I could wake up for in the morning. I can’t imagine waking up that early every day for anything else.

Not all shifts go as we expected. I feel the worst when I can sense the frustration of my team. I learned that when things go wrong, it’s essential to pause and regain everyone’s focus and attention to keep going.

Interview and shot by Shabnam Ferdowsi official HOTK reporter in Paris.