Inside Scoop on Chef Leng Chee Yeoh.

Leng Chee, a native of Malaysia, has a deep passion for cooking and learning cuisines from all parts of the globe.

After receiving his culinary arts degree from Taylor’s University, one of the top universities in Malaysia for hospitality, he traveled halfway across the world to France where he began his culinary career. His first taste of working in a professional kitchen was at La Bergerie in Aragon, France, which is currently a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Here he learned how to prep ingredients in a timely manner and work under pressure. Following his stint at La Bergerie, he traveled to Carcassonne, France and worked at a two Michelin starred restaurant called Le Parc Franck Putelat. This is where he truly saw how a fine dining kitchen operates as he worked various stations such as meat, fish, and even pastry. Following his European adventure, he moved to Singapore and worked at the Marriott Tang Plaza where he honed his butchery skills and worked the buffet kitchen. Leng Chee got the opportunity back home in Malaysia to help open a café. Since he was the starting head Chef, this is where he learned how to compose a menu, understand the importance of food costs, finding the right purveyors, train new staff, and be an overall leader. In 2018, he worked abroad in San Francisco at Monsieur Benjamin, a French bistro where he was able to utilize his past experience of French cooking. In 2019, he returned home and continued his journey in French cuisine at fine dining restaurant, Entier, where he worked as a Sous Chef. After two years there, he returned to Monsieur Benjamin this year as a Sous Chef. Here he showcases the bountiful ingredients of the Bay Area in dishes inspired by the traditions of French cuisine and the spirit of Parisian bistro culture.

Sous Chef Leng Chee Yeoh.

Q&A with Chef Leng Chee Yeoh

  1. What about French cuisine excites you and makes you want to cook it every day at work?

During my time at university and the start of my career, there was a huge influence from French gastronomy. It’s something I’ve taken pride in over the years learning as much as I can about the cuisine, techniques, and ingredients.

  1. What is your current favorite dish on the menu at Monsieur Benjamin and why?

Definitely the chicken liver terrine, a dish that’s been on the menu since the restaurant opened. I actually don’t enjoy the flavor of chicken liver to be honest but the way we prepare it is just impeccable. The terrine has an ultra smooth and creamy texture paired with the buttery toasted brioche and sweet apple compote makes for an incredible combination.

Chicken Liver Terrine with Apple Compote and Brioche.

  1. Since becoming a Sous Chef responsible for training other cooks, have you learned any lessons about mentorship?

Training can be quite hard as it requires a lot of patience. However, it is worth it as I want to inspire the younger generation in our industry. I want to share my knowledge in this field with cooks who are eager and excited to learn.

  1. Since your time here in San Francisco, you’ve done a few pop-ups. Can you explain the concept and the inspiration behind the dish?

I started to miss the food from home and wanted to showcase that to others. I’ve had the opportunity to make some of these dishes for family meal at work and got a lot of positive feedback. I made fried chicken wings stuffed with chicken sausage served with a satay sauce.

Stuffed Crispy Chicken Wings with Satay Sauce.

  1. What do you like about living and working in San Francisco?

At Monsieur Benjamin, there’s a real sense of family atmosphere. We’re a family. The range of ingredients found in the Bay Area is amazing and the restaurant scene in the city is so lively and diverse.

  1. Has working in the U.S. enhanced your abilities as a Chef? If so, how?

Absolutely. I get to work with exciting new products every day and we’re always striving to make the restaurant better. Working with people from various backgrounds and personalities has also made me a better Chef as it’s tested my communication skills.

  1. Do you have a favorite restaurant in San Francisco?

House of Prime Rib! The old school vibe and table side service is something that just doesn’t exist much in the city anymore. Not only is the prime rib delicious but all the sides are also banging. Be sure to leave room for dessert too as they have all the classic favorites from chocolate cake to crème brûlée.

To see Leng Chee in action, dine at Monsieur Benjamin for delicious French flare ranging from an array of raw seafood, classic French appetizers, hearty main courses, and deletable desserts.

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