How the Hakkasan Group’s new exec chef plans to evolve the food offering

Andrew Yeo will oversee the menus at the Hakkasan, Yauatcha and Ling Ling brands.

18 June 2019

After 18 years under the stewardship of Tong Chee Hwee, the Hakkasan Group has decided to appoint a fresh face as its corporate executive chef.

Born in Singapore and boasting a long career running upscale hotel restaurants, Andrew Yeo is no stranger to Cantonese cuisine, though his most recent stint was as executive chef at The Miami Beach Edition.

Yeo’s remit will include the 12 Hakkasan, seven Yauatcha and three Ling Ling concepts spread across the globe. Here, he shares a few teasers of his grand plans for the restaurants with Food Spark.

I’m excited to be joining Hakkasan Group and to be involved in the continual evolution of Hakkasan, Yauatcha, and Ling Ling worldwide. Hakkasan Group has always been a company I’ve admired as an industry leader, with their commitment to seasonal and local produce, and sustainable practices.

My vision is to continue to stay at the forefront of food and drink trends. In particular, I’m interested in looking at vegan menu options for each of the restaurants.

Cantonese cooking has subtle differences dependent on the region of China you visit, and I’d like to bring this to life within my menu creations. I hope that the new dishes I create will be recognised and appreciated by locals who visit the restaurant whilst also educating those less familiar of the diversity of Cantonese cuisine.

Cantonese food has been around for centuries, with flavours and techniques being a global inspiration across the ages. Contemporarily, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their food, looking for new and innovative flavours. Local, sustainable, and healthy options are increasingly important to the modern consumer and Cantonese cuisine plays to each of these considerations.

Cantonese and Chinese cuisines are relatively mainstream in Western diets, although the most popular dishes aren’t necessarily the most authentic. I would love to see traditional Peking duck and dim sum become the mainstream norms to reflect the current Chinese cuisine status.

The dish that most stands out to me [on the Hakkasan menu] is the truffle duck. The method taken to prepare the duck is intricate and impressive, and finishing the duck with truffle is inspired. The finished article is divine – you have to try it!

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