Brandon Chin Yoon Foong & Robbie Yoon Jong Hyuk
Brandon Chin Yoon Foong & Robbie Yoon Jong Hyuk

Brandon Chin Yoon Foong & Robbie Yoon Jong Hyuk

Born:

Brandon: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Robbie: Seoul, South Korea 

History:

Brandon:  Brandon’s diverse culinary career began in Malaysia, where he apprenticed at Strudel & Pastry in 1998.  The following year he joined the Hilton Hotel Malaysia, before specialising in Asian cuisine at Little Dim Sum Place. 

In 2003 he moved to Melbourne, training at the William Angliss Institute Culinary School and completing apprenticeships at Rubicon Restaurant and Punch Lane Wine Bar.  Sous chef positions at Punch Lane Wine Bar and Grapeseed followed, and in 2009 Brandon was appointed Head Chef at both Servery & Spoon Café and My Sister Says Café. 

After a stint as sous chef at The Local Taphouse, Brandon is now head chef and pastry chef at Biero Melbourne. 

Robbie:  Robbie did his apprenticeship at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Seoul, later honing his skills as a commis chef at the Hilton Hotel, Military Army Service, Seokyo Hotel and Hyatt Hotel in Seoul. 

2005 saw him relocate to Melbourne and the William Angliss Institute Culinary School.  Following that he worked at Lime Café & Bar in Kensington, Yak Bar & Restaurant, then as sous chef at Servery & Spoon Café & My Sister Says Café, and now Biero Melbourne. 

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?

Brandon:  I guess since I started lighting matchsticks to light the gas stove at the age of eight.  It scared my parents and grandparents!  Also standing on a steel bucket helping Mum and Grandma cook a feast for a big family…oh, and my first experience helping Mum slaughter chickens for Chinese New Year’s dinner when I was eight, and we’re still keeping the tradition!  Brings back good and scary memories!  I’m a slow eater and always end up doing dishes; I guess that’s because I love to slowly enjoy Mum’s food!

Robbie:  Since I graduated from high school, I always had a passion for cookery. It was against my mum’s will but I went ahead with my heart and dreams.  Working with many experienced chefs around Seoul, it built my confidence in culinary skills and my passion for food.  I’ve gained 20kg ever since I joined this industry, so that’s proof of my passion. 

How would you define your style?

Brandon: Seasonal – what Mother Nature has to offer, and DEFINITELY Mum’s Asian cooking! 

Robbie: Traditional with a little modern twist. 

Obsessive compulsive about?

Brandon:  Consistency!  Consistency!  Consistency!  Not only at work but also in life, to achieve the best from yourself. 

Robbie: Herbs and spices. Teamwork in the kitchen; no team, no game. 

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:

Brandon:  First of all, definitely my family!  Also the men behind my success – Martin Webb and Richard Smith, my mentors.  Also not to forget my fiancée; thank you for your patience and support. 

Robbie:  My mum and dad!  We always travel around the world to hunt for good quality food. 

Signature dish:  

Brandon:  ‘Pork Belly Duo’ (crisp belly of pork and maltose braised pork belly); and crisp whole WA prawns with egg floss, chilli and curry leaves.

Robbie:  Slow braised pork neck with fragrant barley risotto and roasted garlic puree; and butterflied beef short ribs with confit garlic, wild mushrooms and nashi compote.

Strangest thing you've ever eaten?

Brandon:  Earthworms in boiled eggs. Gosh!  My mum made me eat it when I had tummy ache when I was a kid. 

Robbie:  Dog meat soup in Korea; I didn’t know what it was ‘til I'd finished it.  My dad tricked me into it.  Never touching it ever again!