Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 Icon award goes to Danny Yip, founder of one-Michelin-star The Chairman in Hong Kong

This year, the awards ceremony will be held in Seoul, South Korea, on March 26, when the organisation’s ranking of its 50 best restaurants in Asia will be announced in the presence of chefs, restaurateurs and other industry professionals.

Camphor-wood smoked goose by The Chairman. Photo: The Chairman
In receiving the award, voted on by an anonymous panel of 300 restaurant industry leaders, Yip joins the likes of Shinobu Namae of Tokyo’s L’Effervescence, South Korean monk Jeong Kwan, Bangkok street food chef Supinya “Jay Fai” Junsuta, and Japanese chefs Seiji Yamamoto and Yoshihiro Murata, who have been given the Icon award since 2019.

Yip gives credit to his stable team for the restaurant’s success.

“The majority of them have been with us since we opened or for more than 10 years. Alone I can do so little, [but] together we can do so much.

“This award is a tremendous honour, not just for me but also for The Chairman team. It serves as a motivator, consistently reminding us of the greater heights we can reach in the days ahead.”

Yip at his restaurant in Central. He is known for being an advocate of local produce. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

As the founder and face of The Chairman, Yip is known for being an advocate of local produce, particularly the abundance of fresh fish and seafood to be found in and around Hong Kong waters, which are reflected in signature dishes – such as steamed flowery crab with chicken fat and Shaoxing wine – served at the restaurant.

Over the years, the team has carefully cultivated a network of growers and fishermen, and even have their own small organic farm in Hong Kong’s New Territories.

It is consistently one of the more difficult-to-book restaurants in Hong Kong – reservations are released several months in advance and snapped up quickly – and, at the time of writing, is fully booked until June 2024.

Steamed flowery crab with chicken fat and Shaoxing wine and rice noodles at The Chairman. Photo: The Chairman

In 2022, Yip moved the restaurant from its original location in Kau U Fong in Central, on Hong Kong Island, to a slightly smaller space minutes away on Wellington Street – also in Central.

At the time, Yip told The Post that “people thought we would expand, but I wanted to become more focused. The kitchen is bigger, and there are fewer guests. It gives you space to do more, to plan, to make things even better and more delicate.”

“Danny stands as a breath of fresh air in his commitment to his craft, in valuing tradition at the same time as embracing innovation,” says William Drew, the director of content for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

“Leading The Chairman for the past 14 years, he and his team deliver the epitome of authentic Cantonese cuisine. It’s an iconic establishment and Danny is a true icon of his industry.”

The Chairman’s distinctive logo is displayed at the front of the restaurant in Hong Kong. Photo: The Chairman

It led the Hong Kong restaurant to release a statement to clarify that it had no plans to open a second branch and that it had “no affiliation” with the Malaysian venture.

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