At the crossroads of Southeast Asia, lies Singapore, a bustling mecca where diverse cultures and multiple nationalities collide to live, work and most importantly, eat together. Known as a culinary melting pot that unites the influence of Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, Indian and Nonya cuisine to deliver fragrant fares that are complex in flavors and truly unique to the city itself. It was here that inspired a lifelong love and true passion for food for Chris Yeo, influencing his path to becoming a world-renowned chef.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Singapore, Chris graduated from the Singapore Hotel and Catering School in 1968 and worked for the Mandarin Hotel for two years. Unsatisfied with the hospitality industry, he left for London, England in 1970 to start a career as a hairstylist working under Vidal Sassoon. A decade later, he relocated to San Francisco where he launched the Yeo Hair Design studio in Haight-Ashbury. With a love of entertaining people through his outgoing and vibrant personality, Chris realized that his true passion was in creating food. He decided to embark on a journey to trade in his blow dryers for butane burners and present to San Francisco the traditionally famous flavors of Singapore, reminiscent of his childhood.
In 1987, Chris opened Straits in San Francisco, named after The Strait of Malacca that winds between the borders of Singapore and Malaysia. His meticulously executed, delectable dishes were an instant success, converting a whole new following to the additive and magnificently crave-worthy flavors of his hometown.
Ignited with a mission to inspire and encourage guests to discover the bold combinations of Pan Asian style cuisine, Chef Yeo’s concept focuses on serving small plates, shared family style that highlight Singapore’s authentic taste mashed with a contemporary, dynamic twist. Food pairings are created daily inspired from Chef Yeo’s heart and served with passion to incorporate new, artisanal interpretations of enduring traditional favorites.
Fast forward to 2016 and Chris has a collection of dining establishments under the Chris Yeo Group, all blending his signature style of traditional cooking roots with innovative taste and complex variations. The future looks bright for Chef Yeo and the future also holds many more palate pleasing dishes to impress sophisticated foodies across the nation.