As a champion barista, Sam Low is skilled at coaxing layers of flavour from a single ingredient, so imagine what he can do with the whole flavour playbook of Chinese cuisine. Here he delves mainly into the Cantonese food he grew up with and the Sichuan dishes he loves: Cantonese is milder and fresher while Sichuan cuisine leans more on chilli oil and spice. Growing up in Fiji and New Zealand, and with cooking experience drawn from his parents’ takeaway to MasterChef, Sam’s aim here isn’t necessarily to be super authentic, but to show us, ‘This is what I cook and this is who I am’. As a child he didn’t find pride in his Chinese heritage, and as a young gay man he didn’t see queerness celebrated in his conservative community. So, drawing on this, he says the food he brings to the kitchen falls outside the conventional expectations and he takes the freedom to cook what feels good. That said, you will find many classics here such as crispy pork belly, dan dan noodles or congee with all the toppings. I’m keen to try the steamed eggs with soy and shiitake, and cumin and chilli lamb skewers from northern China; the exploding ginger and spring onion relish is a definite must-do and I’m tempted by the weirdly named ‘strange flavour’ combination of soy with nut butter to make a quick and delicious noodle dish that’s dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes. TRACY WHITMEY