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In the last decade, Son has built a successful career as a chef and hospitality manager working for 5-star hotels - Hilton Hotel, Hyatt Hotel, Pan Pacific Hotel, Intercontinental Hotel and Coco Palm Resort in Maldives. After returning to Sydney, he won the role of Chef de Cuisine at Star Casino managing their restaurant and gaming lounges. Today, Son is General Manager & Head Chef at popular General Chao restaurant in Chatswood, Sydney.
Born in Korea, Son loves promoting his cultural cuisine and integrates traditional fermented foods such as kimchi, fruit and grain vinegar, soy bean paste, and soy sauce into his cooking. He says, "My parents instilled in me a love of our Korean culinary traditions. My grandma cooked everything the traditional way. Today, I fully embrace my culinary heritage every time I create a new menu."
His dream of studying at Le Cordon Bleu since he was a teenager saw him graduate Dux of 2010 with a Diplôme Avancé de Gestion Culinaire (SIT60316 Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management). Son is now proudly passing his learning on to his staff, and credits Le Cordon Bleu for teaching him the management and culinary skills to excel as a head chef and a hospitality leader.
What I loved most about Le Cordon Bleu was learning beautiful French cooking techniques from great chefs with great passion. This passion still leads and guides me to do my best all the time.
Son has impressed on the culinary circuit, winning 14 medals from competitions such as Dilmah High Tea Competition Australia (2013); Oceanfest Perth Australia (2013); CCC Sydney Australia (2012), and Fine Food Show Sydney Salon Culinaire (2011 & 2013).
In recent years, he has focused on his passion for Korean cuisine, saying: "I love working with Asian cuisines – I like the ingredients, and the story behind each dish. I want to go back to traditional ways of cooking, for example, making chilli sauce by fermenting garlic, chilli, ginger, sugar and salt, (nothing else!) and ferment it for 5 days to produce beautiful Sriracha sauce without any preservatives or chemicals."
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many innovations in the hospitality industry, with Son’s business Manager, Chao going to an online business model. The restaurant may be operating as a production kitchen, but Son's passion for the industry shines as brightly as ever. He says, "During the pandemic we are cooking for take aways, and doing so with all our hearts. The pandemic will be over one day. Don’t let this virus destroy our dream and passion."
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