Ray Hui is a self-taught chef who has been around the kitchen his entire life—his father, a restaurant owner, is a sushi chef who has been in the industry for over 30 years. His mother has worked in the front of the house as the smiling face of many restaurants since Ray was a child, bringing people together and showing him the true spirit of hospitality. Ray's first job was as a busser at the restaurant his mother worked at where he eventually started serving and hosting, which led him to better understand the skills of service. When Ray turned 16, he started working for his dad by washing rice, an experience he describes as humbling. After two years of observation and learning how to maneuver a kitchen, he started helping with prep and eventually began making sushi. Ray's experience on both sides of a restaurant, both front and back of house, has given him a well-rounded understanding of how a restaurant should be and truly honed his love of the craft.
Originally from Fort Myers, Florida, Ray decided to switch his beaches for mountains in 2016 when he discovered the unique and adventurous things Patrick O'Cain's Gan Shan Station was creating with food that no one was doing in his hometown. Ray picked up a part-time job as a cook in the Gan Shan Station kitchen where worked under notable chefs with incredible experience and high standards. There, he got a feel of what big kitchens look like but in a more intimate, neighborhood setting. He quickly became the sole sous chef at the location. Ray says this allowed him some freedom and “helped him find his way” when it came to overseeing the kitchen.
After a little more than a year in his role at Gan Shan Station, Ray was given the position of Chef de Cuisine at Gan Shan West where he has continued to “cook the food that makes sense” to him. Now as Head Chef, his goal is to reconnect with the food that his parents cooked when they came to America to support his family, help him pay his way through college, and feed a whole community in Florida.
"I want to cook food that is authentic to my Chinese American upbringing, share that with the community at large, and provide a service that builds and nourishes the people."
Ray enjoys his days outside of Gan Shan West spending time with his big new family which includes a dog, a cat, his partner, Tamarya, and their new baby girl, Shao.