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Chicago Gourmet - bio: Ivan Yuen
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Ivan Yuen

Shanghai Terrace

Chef Ivan Yuen was promoted to Chef de Cuisine of Shanghai Terrace in July 2010. Having started as a line cook in Shanghai Terrace in and moving his way up to Sous Chef, he has shown great leadership and creativity in menu development and his extensive background in Chinese cooking which makes Shanghai Terrace the perfect fit to showcase his culinary expertise. 
 
Chef Yuen oversees all kitchen operations and works closely with the front services team at the hotel to ensure that all guests’ needs are met. Creating new menus for each season and helping the culinary staff improve new dishes are part of Chef Yuen’s job. 
 
He developed a love for food and cooking at an early age, and went on to obtain an excellent culinary education and received his MBA at ShenzhenUniversity in China before moving to the United States in 1989. Having graduated from the CASL Chef Cooking School of Chicago, Chef Yuen also received a Certificate of Training at the Chefs Association of Chinese Cooking in New York. Further training included Certificates of Training in Hospitality Management at The Miramar Hotel in Hong Kong, in Food Hygiene and Food Service Managment for the City of Chicago, along with DDI Management Training and Interview Skills at The Peninsula Chicago.
 
Chef Yuen, born in Canton, China, began his professional career at The Miramar Hotel Hong Kong as Trainee and Chef. He moved on to be the Chef at The Nan Hai Hotel, a five-star hotel in Shenzhen, China where he was recognized as Star of the Month soon after he began. Moving to the United States opened up opportunities for Chef Yuen to explore his love for Chinese cooking at several more restaurants, including the Silver Palace, NY, The Mandarin China in Springfield, MA. and The Great Wall Chinese Restaurant in Kalamazoo, MI. Chef Yuen’s most recent position before joining The Peninsula Chicago was Chef and Director at the Jade Dragon Chinese Restaurant and China Palace Restaurant in Bensenville, IL.
 
Motivation is a huge factor in Chef Yuen’s success, and his biggest motivators are his guests, and his grandmother, a chef and restaurant owner who gave him the opportunity to work in a restaurant after moving to the US.
 
Chef Yuen’s roots are not only in Chinese cooking, but in Chinese culture as well, and he believes this heightens the authentic experience at Shanghai Terrace.
 
Chef Yuen is passionate about three things: his family, traveling, and learning about new food. He strongly believes each are interrelated to one another. “When I travel, I love trying out regional foods and ingredients. If there’s something I really like, I will try to recreate it at home for my family. It’s a great feeling when I can create a dish just as good as the one I ate in a restaurant.”
 
At Shanghai Terrace, guests can step into a seductive setting and discover extraordinary Chinese cuisine featuring Shanghainese and Cantonese specialties. The popular outdoor terrace offers remarkable city views, while the semi-private dining room is spacious enough for a party of 30. Shanghai Terrace is open for dinner Monday through Saturday and lunch is served from May through October, Monday through Saturday. The restaurant was named in Zagat’s ‘Top 100 Best Hotel Restaurants’, and Food & Wine magazine honored it as one of the ‘100 Best Chinese Restaurants in the United States’.

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