Patricia Yeo has quite an extensive resume and career trajectory.
Originally the Oregon native was on a science path, studying biochemistry at Princeton University when she enrolled in a cooking class in New York. She met celebrity chef Bobby Flay while attending New York Restaurant School, and he took the fledgling chef under his wing. After working at Miracle Grill, Mesa, and Bolo, the chef opened AZ in New York City in 1999. In 2007, Yeo moved to Southeast Asia to hone her craft, working as a restaurant consultant while learning the flavors and culture of the region. Yeo returned to the states and opened Boston's Ginger Park in 2009. Yeo then moved to Om Restaurant & Lounge and Moska, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before heading to Chicago to take a consulting job in Chicago.
Khong, owned by 50 Eggs, opened in December 2012. The restaurant quickly became known for its innovative Southeast Asian cuisine. Less than a year after opening, the restaurant's chef, Piyarat Potha Arreeratn (also known as Chef Bee) abruptly departed the establishment sparking a feud and a lawsuit.
The restaurant, which was a semifinalist for the 2013 James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant award, has remained a South Beach staple, adding brunch and a new cocktail program along the way.
Yeo, already firmly planted in the kitchen, is said to be reworking some of Khong's best sellers, including the Northern Thai beef jerky, which is now being dried in a traditional preparation. New items that Yeo has introduced include a duck confit and Chinese sausage fried rice, golden shrimp and crab dumpling, Silk Road lamb kofka, and lemongrass-cured salmon with salsa verde and lemon gelee, saying, "the cultural and geographical influences on this style of food are fascinating, and I'm excited to explore every facet here at Khong River House."
Yeo, we discovered, is also a prolific culinary demonstrator. The chef calmly breaks down a seemingly complicated dish, ensuring a successful result for home cooks. Until you can get to Khong River House, here are our five favorite chef Yeo recipes for you to try at home.
5. Chef Yeo demos her signature stir-fry, Uyigur-style lamb with three peppers & rice gnocchi.
4. Here's an easy mushroom dan dan mein recipe.
3. Watch chef Yeo discuss planning a menu. (Especially useful with the holidays coming up.)
2. Patricia Yeo demonstrates how to cook the world's best pork chop.
1. Finally, chef Yeo talks about her newest Khong River House creation, a charred eggplant larb.