Ray Kwong was inspired to embark on a culinary career by his mother, a frequent traveler who believed that working in the food and beverage industry would afford him opportunities to see the world. She always told him, “Wherever you go, there will be food,” and these words of wisdom did not fail Kwong. The Hong Kong native took his mother’s advice and used his love of food to cultivate a fulfilling career that led him to his current role as executive chef at Rice & Company at Luxor Hotel and Casino.
Kwong began his technical training in Hong Kong at the age of 15 under Master Chef Kwan, a skilled chef who managed five of the city’s top Chinese and Japanese restaurants and was known for training many young chefs. Kwong became one of Kwan’s apprenticed students and spent eight years building a solid knowledge of authentic Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
At the age of 21, he immigrated to the United States and obtained an associate’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from Lake Tahoe Community College. After completing his education, he moved to Las Vegas where he worked his way up the ranks at a variety of restaurants in the city.
He began in 1995 as a chef at Peking Market Restaurant at Flamingo Hilton Hotel & Casino and continued to expand his experience serving in a range of chef roles at restaurants including: specialty room chef at Mask Restaurant at Rio Hotel & Casino in 1996, executive specialty chef at Feast Buffet at Santa Fe Hotel & Casino in 2006 and room chef at Fortunes at Palms Casino Resort in 2011.
Kwong maximized each of these experiences, grew in every role he held and in 2013, became executive chef at Rice & Company, the modern Japanese and Chinese restaurant at Luxor. Here Kwong utilizes his traditional training and experience in Asian cuisine to ensure each dish’s authenticity.
Kwong enjoys cooking just as much as he did the day his mother encouraged him to pursue a culinary career. In his spare time, Kwong can be found playing ping pong and traveling with his wife and three sons who he now encourages to pursue their dreams.