You can never see a more ambitious cook when Gao Xingbiao, one of the best Chinese chef inCardiff, is dealing with his colourful Chinese dishes, surrounded by five other assistant cooks in the kitchen. You can never see a more amiable cook when Gao is talking with his customers off the kitchen, from whose simple and smiling face, few evidence reveals that the 38-year-old cook has been in theUnited Kingdomfor 13 years.
In spite of that, Gao is absolutely, the chief cook and copartner of the most well-known Chinese restaurant called K-Max inCardiff. “It is his 13th anniversary of going abroad and this year I finally find the chance to cooperate with him.” Andy Shi, K-Max’s another copartner says. And fortunately, after 13 years of tough work in a foreign country, Gao finally becomes a successful cook and businessman who owns two restaurants inCardiff.
Footprint in China
Actually, Gao wasn’t a cook when he was inChina. As in his description, it was quite a confused and perplexed period of time after graduation from high school. Faced with fierce pressure from family and society, he started to make a living from one city to another.Fujian,Shanghai,Nanjing,Tianjin,Guangdong, they are the cities he has been to. Decoration worker, fruit salesman, waiter, they are the jobs he has taken.
“One day I asked myself, what is my dream, what do I really want?” That day remains fresh in Gao’s mind. That year, he was 25.
“Since I can work all aroundChina, why can’t I go farther?” He thought it might be a totally new world for him to a western country and finally in the year of 1999, he started his footprint in theUnited Kingdom.
Dream starts from Britain
In Gao’s early year in theUK, it should not be that easy to pursue his British dream. His first job as a handy man in a restaurant inLondonlasted only three days which frustrated him. However, he swore to be a successful cook since then just as he says “I started my dream as a kind of revenge”. As a consequence, the next decade experienced a Chinese man’s tough dream.
Bristolwas his first station and then he moved toCardiff. After a business failure, he restarted inSwanseaand came back again toCardifftwo years ago. In the hardworking days and nights, he became a strong man. From one place to another, from handy man to main cook, from employee to employer, from store to Chinese restaurant, finally, he found out the dream he had been seeking in his 20thand the true essence of footprints he had walked.
“I love to be a cook sincerely now especially in a Chinese restaurant.” Gao says. “A restaurant is always a place filled with human interest and I hope Chinese people inCardiffcan regard my restaurant as the second home.” When asked about the opinion towardsCardiff, he feels it is a stable, comfortable and kind city.
“I don’t know which place is my next destination, but what is guaranteed is that I’ll still cook, because it teaches me not only how to make nice dishes, but also fulfil dreams and be a strong-hearted person.”
For sure, he never thought to be someone. However, he is really someone. Someone represents millions of Chinese emigrants to theUnited Kingdom, someone experiences tough periods but still possesses a dream, someone who always insists his own choice persistently and takes his footprints firmly.