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Chef-restaurateur Danny Yip gets the Icon Award from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants

Danny Yip has been credited with bringing Cantonese cuisine into the arena of fine dining

A rice dish; and steamed Grouper fish head with fermented chilli and salted lard at The Chairman.(Screenshots from thechairmangroup.com)

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 20.02.2024  |  09:40 AM IST

Danny Yip, the chef and owner of the renowned restaurant The Chairman in Hong Kong, received the Icon Award from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024. The restaurant and bar rating platform announced the award on Tuesday on its social media platforms.

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With a career spanning 35 years, Yip has been credited with bringing Cantonese cuisine into the fine dining arena. His restaurant journey had ups, downs and an interesting diversion. Yip didn’t go to culinary school; infact, he holds a degree in economics. His interest in dining was seeded in Australia in the eighties as a university student when he worked at restaurants. In the nineties, he opened a chain of restaurants in Australia, and was beset with financial challenges. In the dining industry, profit margins are low and operational costs are extremely high. “One thing I found out was that if a restaurateur wanted to be creative and not worry about the market too much, he either had an affluent investor, or he himself was financially comfortable," he said in an interview to four-magazine.com in 2022. He moved back to Hong Kong in the late nineties and started an Internet company. A decade later, he sold it and opened The Chairman. It’s a classic case of ‘you can take a chef out of a restaurant, but you cannot take the restaurant out of him.’

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Yip returned to the dining business because he couldn’t find good Cantonese food in the city. He had been exposed to creative cooking in Australia and he wanted to innovate. A story about him on the website of World’s 50 Best highlights his philosophy: “Use the best ingredients, source seasonally and locally, and treat produce with proper respect." At The Chairman, two of the most popular dishes are camphor wood smoked goose with seven spices and steamed Grouper fish head with fermented chilli and salted lard (pictured above).

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