I am a Co-Owner and Executive Chef of Yardbird, RŌNIN, and Sunday’s Grocery in Hong Kong. I worked in Japanese kitchens throughout Canada before moving to New York City to work under Masayoshi Takayama at Masa.When I moved to Hong Kong in 2009, the food culture of the city inspired me to open my own restaurant and in 2011, and then I opened Yardbird with my business partner, Lindsay Jang. I would say, being at the right place at the right time and knowing that I had enough experience in my industry to pursue my dream of opening up my own restaurant. Yardbird is a modern izakaya that specializes in yakitori dishes of skewered grilled chicken. A family-style, neighborhood restaurant that combines the highest level of service with the best quality food and drink in a fun and relaxed environment. All these menu are created by me, focusing on the many different parts of a chicken, from neck to tail, that are grilled over traditional Binchotan charcoal. In addition to yakitori, Yardbird also features ‘smaller’ and ‘bigger’ dishes that incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My mentor, Masayoshi Takayama, and my grandfather.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The ability to do what I love, learn, travel, and make a living all at the same time.
What would say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
The secret behind any successful business is continuous training and having a strong, loyal, hard-working team.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Being successful while working with my friends and family.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Get as much experience as you can in your field, don't undervalue yourself, and learn from other people's mistakes before heading out on your own.