Born and raised in Los Angeles, Chong was exposed to restaurants at an early age, thanks to his mother. A curious child, he frequently slipped into the kitchens of the restaurants they frequented to admire the chefs at work. Chong was also deeply inspired by the original Iron Chef on The Food Network, which reinforced his culinary calling. In 2002, he enrolled in San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, an affiliate of Le Cordon Bleu, and began his journey to becoming a successful chef. Upon graduation, he joined the team of Master Chef Wolfgang Puck’s award-winning Postrio, located at the Prescott Hotel in San Francisco’s Union Square. To begin his career working under such an acclaimed chef was an opportunity of a lifetime and paved the way to future success in the industry. In 2003, Chong relocated to Las Vegas to work under Chef Julian Serrano at the five diamond French restaurant, Picasso, at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Working with Serrano’s Chef de Cuisine Yoshi Honda for over two years on the meat station, Chong quickly learned the basics of how to be a well-rounded chef, from menu creation to cooking technique.
BLT Restaurant Group announced its plans to open a BLT Steak in Los Angeles. Being a native Angeleno, Chong immediately recognized a calling to join the opening team at the renowned group’s first West Coast outpost. Under the direction of a seasoned team of restaurateurs, Chong perfected the art of the modern American steakhouse and flexed his culinary artistry. From there, he learned of Chef/Restaurateur Michael Mina’s plans to premier a new Los Angeles concept alongside hospitality group, SBE. After a successful opening, Chong returned to his steakhouse expertise as part of the opening team of the new Sunset Blvd. location of BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood. For two years, he was challenged with high volume as the executive sous chef and quickly learned the necessary skills to becoming a successful back of the house manager. Although his time at BOA Steakhouse was valuable, Chong maintained close relationships with the BLT Restaurant team and was encouraged to join the opening team of GO Burger. With a diverse culinary background and an extensive resume of opening experience, Chong was perfectly poised to become chef de cuisine of the new burger concept of the renowned restaurant group.
After completing tenure with the BLT restaurant group there was a high demand for consulting work from BBQ Joints to Wine Bars. Chong spent two years opening six different concepts all over Southern California that continue to flourish today. Needing stability in work and life, Chong joined the Röckenwagner family as the Corporate Chef and continued to provide his expertise to the multi-location group. Chong was responsible for overseeing the kitchen staff, executing high-quality cuisine and upholding the high standards that is signature of Röckenwagner.
Currently flipping burgers at In Yo Grill, Chong has never left his love for devouring burgers since his father introduced them to him as a child. He has proven, special blends of beef combinations at a Hollywood premier speak easy, No Vacancy, run and operated by Houston Hospitality (not to be confused with Hillstone Restaurant Group or Houston’s). There he serves gourmet burgers and specialty grilled cheeses in the corridor of a Victorian house built in 1902.
Multitasking as founding partner and chef of Mainland Poke Shop on West 3rd St. in Los Angeles, Chong has dedicated his skills to the current Poke craze in Los Angeles and continues to provide the quality of non frozen fish in your personally customizable poke bowls.