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RISING STAR: Brian Heng indulges in edible science

Brenda Velasquez Asian Avenue magazine

As many Colorado College Asian Student Union cabin retreat

Heng’s Family

Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association junior counselors

Brian Heng is a biochemistry student at Colorado College.

As many of us often experience, life gets busier with age, leaving regrettably less time for hobbies. As a college freshman undergoing the lifestyle transition into higher education, 18 year-old Brian Heng still tries to find time for one of his newer passions. A biochemistry student with a string of extracurricular activities and plans to pursue a career as a surgeon, Heng describes the challenges he’s faced so far: “With school, my work in admission, and a social life, a great skill to be learned was time management.” Dividing his time between an Admissions internship working with first-generation minority applicants, and mentoring in student and youth organizations, Heng carves out a quiet space for himself in the kitchen, concocting intricate dishes inspired by television programs. “I would watch TV shows like Iron Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, or Master Chef and the passion just came from not being able to eat what they’re eating; it’s not always feasible for a high school student to go to those expensive restaurants, so I tried to cook some for myself.” Alongside volunteer work at a medical center in Lafayette, Heng explored his burgeoning culinary interest during a high school senior project learning to prepare a three-course meal. Part art, part science,

Heng relishes the trial-and-error methodology involved with replicating recipes: “The one thing I like about cooking is it’s time-consuming, and the reward is eating! If I don’t know what to do with my friends one night and we have a lot of time I would just cook with them and then we would have a meal after we’re done.” Despite his Cambodian-Chinese heritage, Heng avoids experimenting with either ethnicity’s cuisines. “That’s my mom’s area of expertise. I think the family would rather have her cook those dishes rather than have me mess it up,” he laughs. “But in the future I will definitely take some cooking lessons from my mom.” According to fellow student Connie Zheng, “Brian is one of the co-chairs for the Asian Student Union. He is one of our most hard-working junior counselors and was even one of the captains of our dragonboat team last summer.” Undeterred by an increasingly bustling life, Heng strives to keep up with his culinary passion whenever possible. Indulging in a hobby characterized by a harmonious yin-yang interplay between science and artistry, he reserves an outlet for relaxation and converts an everyday chore into a gratifying pastime to share with friends and family.

about brian heng Hometown Westminster, CO School Colorado College Involvements Colorado College Asian Student Union Co-Chair; Colorado Heng makes a three-course meal for senior project

College Admission Outreach and Access intern; Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association; Spirit of Cambodia Cultural Alliance Dragon Boat Team

Hobbies/Interests basketball, tennis, strategy games, dancing, cooking Quote brian Lives By “Be good to others.” brian in Three Words outgoing, laid-back, energetic Dream Job General Surgeon working with athletes


May 2014 | Rising Star

Asian Avenue magazine - May 2014  

Cover: Asian American Heroes of Colorado