Peng Looi spent a good chunk of the 1980s studying engineering—only to discover he hated the trade.“The studying part was fun, but the working part was boring,” says the Malaysian-born chef.Cooking had been a lifelong hobby, one with which he’d later combine his engineering skills to open August Moon, a Chinese restaurant in Louisville, in 1987, and Asiatique, a Pacific Rim fusion spot in the same city in 1994.Boring as it may have been for Looi, that technical training came in especially ...

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