The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai Pudong executive chef
Courtesy of Daniel W.

Name: Daniel W.
Position: Chinese Executive Chef
Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

Chef Daniel has been in the culinary industry since he was just 14 years old. His career, marked by perseverance and a relentless pursuit of excellence, is a testament to his passion for the culinary arts.

In his role as Chinese Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong, Daniel leads the hotel’s restaurants, including the The Michelin- and Black Pearl-awarded Jin Xuan Chinese Restaurant.

Learn more about Daniel’s career journey and what motivates him as a chef and leader, below.

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When did you get involved in the industry and when did you join Marriott?

I joined the industry when I was 14 years old. I joined Marriott in 2013 at The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong and have been working here ever since.

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai Pudong executive chef

Courtesy of Daniel W.

In your career journey, who is your career guide? And what is his/her greatest influence on you?

In my career, I have met many people who have helped me and inspired me. Among them, Chef Lau, who is currently the executive chef of Tin Lung Heen, a Chinese restaurant of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, is one of the biggest influences on me. I met Chef Liu at Lei Garden Restaurant in Hong Kong, and worked with Chef Liu, who was the head chef of the restaurant at the time, and I learned a lot of principles from him, such as being conscientious in doing things, having clear goals, not sticking to past experiences, and constantly innovating and challenging myself.

There must have been lots of struggling moments, what is your greatest motivation?

For me, the joy I get every time a dish is recognized by a customer, and that’s the biggest motivation to keep going.

The most struggling and difficult moment was probably when I was in my early 20s, when many of my friends went to work as white-collar workers, and they had relatively short working hours, and they had plenty of time to live their own lives and cultivate their hobbies after work. At that time, I felt that I didn’t have time to be with my friends, so I considered whether to change industries. But finally, I persevered.

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai Pudong executive chef

Courtesy of Daniel W.

Management is an art. What is your understanding of a team, and how do you get along with your own?

Fairness and impartiality are the most important things of team management for me. I can use the hotel’s well-established system to recognize and reward employees for their outstanding performance and treat them as my own students and family. In addition to work, I will also hold some team building activities with team members, such as playing sports, playing badminton, eating together, and enhancing relationships.

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai Pudong executive chef

Courtesy of Daniel W.

What are your hobbies? Do you enjoy cooking outside of work?

My daily hobbies include playing badminton, fishing, boxing, and swimming. In fact, there is less cooking at home, because my wife is the “executive chef” of the kitchen at home. Sometimes when I travel or go on a business trip, I will try to cook with some ingredients that are not common or have not been tried.

What is your advice to those just starting out in culinary?

Hope younger generations nowadays can learn to endure hardships, and devote time and energy to study, and there will always be gains.

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