Cover Patricia Yeo, Head of Culinary at Black Sheep Restaurants (Photo: Handout)

Having helmed dozens of restaurants, hotels and hospitality groups in her three-decade career, the Malaysian chef brings her trademark fusion style to Black Sheep in a busy time for the restaurant group

With a bevy of major changes and expansions in the pipeline—from revamping Ho Lee Fook to launching a complex of restaurants and bars in Tai Kwun’s historic Magistracy building—Black Sheep Restaurants is making big moves; and to oversee their future plans, the hospitality group has just announced their new Head of Culinary, veteran chef Patricia Yeo.

With a globe-trotting career spanning three decades, the Malaysian-Chinese chef has earned her stripes in a variety of industries, from helming the kitchens of luxury resorts and opening her own string of restaurants, to starring in two cooking reality shows.

Yeo's itinerant tendencies began with her education at a British boarding school, continuing across the pond at Princeton University where she studied for a biochemistry degree. It was during this time that she first encountered American celebrity chef Bobby Flay at a cooking class at New York Restaurant School, who encouraged her to try her hand in a professional kitchen instead.

What followed was a decade of influential stints at Flay's New York restaurants like Miracle Grill, Mesa Grill and Bolo, as well as on the West Coast at Barbara Tropp's China Moon and Hawthorne Lane with Anne Gingrass, where she refined her style of Asian-inflected Southwestern cooking. Yeo marked a career milestone in 1999 with the opening of her own pan-Asian Manhattan restaurant, AZ, which would be awarded two Michelin stars in 2002. This was followed by two subsequent openings, the Mediterranean-fusion Pazo and cross-cultural Sapa in 2002 and 2004 respectively, where she worked as executive chef. 

See also: Syed Asim Hussain On What's Next For Black Sheep Restaurants And Building A Restaurant Empire

Since 2009, Yeo's prolific output has seen her take on roles at American hospitality groups like Lettuce Entertain You, 50 Eggs and Marcus Samuelsson Group, as well as overseas at luxury resorts like Oman's Six Senses Zighy Bay, Avani Luang Prabang in Laos, Shinta Mani Hotels in Cambodia, and Croatia's Maslina Resort. She has also competed in cooking reality shows like Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters. Yeo has also published two cookbooksCooking from A to Z and Everyday Asian.

“I started off wanting to be as avant-garde as possible, but today it is more important to me to support sustainable food practises, pay tribute to the foragers, farmers and fishermen that prop up our food supply chain,” says Yeo. “I am most excited to work with the younger chefs and help them hone their skills, both culinarily and as leaders in the kitchen, so they can achieve their goals, be it something as lofty as Michelin stars or as simple as making them better cooks.”

As Black Sheep steadily expands its portfolio with forthcoming projects like an ice cream parlour, a Sichuan restaurant in Alexandra House, and the group's flagship Magistracy project, Yeo will certainly have much on her plate moving forward.

Related: Chef Jowett Yu To Leave Ho Lee Fook, Restaurant Will Renovate

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