Ken's professional career began in Toronto, working in the busy kitchens of Nota Bene and Scaramouche.

It was at Scaramouche that he learned how to cook and what food truly was. Wanting to continue his exploration, his career has taken him around the world,
including Hong Kong at Liberty Private Works, the UK, to work at three-Michelin star restaurant The Fat Duck, where he learned how to think outside of the box.

He then helped to launch The Fat Duck and Dinners by Heston in Melbourne, Australia, before returning to Toronto.


The first k.Dinners

The first k.Dinners was in Dai Hang, Hong Kong.

k.Dinners, I found myself in between jobs (this situation would also inspire the Toronto k.Dinners), and just knew I had to take the opportunity to cook my own food. In a small café where I hosted 8 people. I cooked on one induction and heated everything up in a countertop oven. It was absolutely terrible... but I had the time of my life! I ran 7 in total before leaving for the UK to cook at The Fat Duck.

The Fat Duck

Working under Heston Blumenthal was one of the most gruelling, wildest experiences of my life. Days in the kitchen were long, and the nights were no different. This place was another beast and was over the moon to have made it to 3 stars! My first memory was my second night working when I knelt down to clean the fridge doors, my legs were shaking because I’d been standing for 16 hours but I LOVED IT. I met a lot of wonderful people who fostered my curiosity and pushed me to succeed in a tough environment. I owe these chefs so much for giving me the opportunity to make mistakes. A lot of the techniques that are used during k.Dinners are from The Fat Duck, even when they’re so labour-intensive, they worth the effort.

Eventually, The Fat Duck migrated to Melbourne, and I went along for the ride,

A trip down under changed it all

Melbourne was something special. It was a place that showed me how important it is to enjoy what I was doing and find balance.

I learned how to be a coffee snob, I learned how great it was to have warm weather all year round, but most importantly, I learned my worth. I learned that it was possible to be treated fairly as a chef, earning a great salary.

When I returned to Toronto, I knew better... I no longer wanted to work for other people for menial wages and be treated less than.

While in Melbourne, I met a lot of young people starting their own business, and knew that I wanted to do the same, despite the fact that I had no idea what it would look like in reality.

In 2017, I planted the seed for my entrepreneurial journey, officially starting k.Dinners. By 2020, it had evolved to include k.Market and now By Chef Ken Yau Inc. is here to meet the world.

Leaving the world I knew as a chef and heading out on my own was scary. Having to shut down the dinners during the pandemic and adapting was terrifying. But doing it all on my terms is one of the best feelings out there.

I created k.Dinners and k.Market (of course with the wonderful help of talented people) and I am so proud of that.

To follow Chef Ken Yau's adventures, find him on Instagram.

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