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November 4, 2010

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Young Scotsman is keen in kitchen

WITH the great enthusiasm characteristic of his native people, 38-year-old Scotsman Alexander Peter Reilly joined the Millennium HongQiao Shanghai Hotel in September as executive chef.

Reilly dreams of one day opening his own restaurant in Malaysia with his Malaysian wife and their newborn son, but for now he has come to Shanghai, a place he thinks is pretty, modern and charming and a place where he believes unlimited dreams can come true.

"I love food, and cooking ignited my passion," says Reilly.

Compared with other executive chefs he is quite young and feels that chefs should be of a certain level of fitness.

He believes competition between chefs is not just down to luck or cooking skills, the high-pressured kitchen environment and demands of the job mean age and fitness are also factors.

Since arriving in Shanghai, Reilly has been living in the Millennium HongQiao Shanghai Hotel.

"I feel lucky that I can live in our hotel," Reilly says. Rooms are no smaller than 40 square meters, and I don't have to do much laundry or tidying up, so I can make good use of my time concentrating on cooking."

The Millennium HongQiao Hotel Shanghai is in Changning District, around the corner from the Carrefour Gubei store and only two minutes' walk from Metro Line 10.

Before joining the Millennium HongQiao Shanghai Hotel, Reilly was working at Life Resort Danang in central Vietnam, where he was responsible for the overall management of the culinary operation and pre-opening.

"Offering help, training culinary staff, supporting and providing leadership were the things I did everyday when I was working in Vietnam," he says.

At the Millennium HongQiao Shanghai Hotel Reilly has spent a lot of time on menu design. Whether it's breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, Western or Eastern cuisines, he wants all guests to be satisfied.

The TKNY offers exquisite cuisine with fresh and high quality ingredients, O'caf?? features a multitude of meal options from breakfast, snacks and buffets to Western, Oriental and new wave creations, and the Spectrum Chinese Restaurant brings guests the exquisite flavors of authentic Chinese cuisine with a wide variety of food and beverage options for lunch and dinner.

Before he came to Shanghai, Reilly also worked in Kuala Lumpur, the capital and largest city of Malaysia. He has previously worked for prestigious hotel chains such as Nikko, and he has played a role as Western executive chef for InterContinental and Hilton.

With 16 years' working experience as a chef, Reilly's cooking career began in 1994, while he was studying at Clydebank College, Scotland. He gained his first part-time job as a chef assistant, and it was in that role he found his passion and decided to devote himself to a career as a chef.

"As I mentioned before, a chef should take good care of his body. Although I don't have much time to do exercise, I pay a visit to our sports and leisure center as often as possible."

An indoor swimming pool, health and fitness center, spa and sauna facilities, mini golf area and a tennis court are all available at the Millennium HongQiao Shanghai Hotel.

During his time in Shanghai so far, Reilly has already done a lot of cooking for the hotel guests, fortunately cooking for others is something he says he really enjoys.

"We should guarantee that guests enjoy a memorable experience in Shanghai," Reilly says. "As an executive chef, I would try my best with my team to satisfy the guests here."

Additionally, as a fully fledged business hotel in Shanghai, Millennium HongQiao Shanghai Hotel offers exceptional facilities for business travel, not only basic hotel services, but also individual or personal services.

"It is hard to teach people to become passionate but it is possible to use your own passion to encourage passion in other people," he says.

Address: 2588 Yan'an Rd W.

Tel: 6208-5888


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