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BRIAN MCKENNA

Biography

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British pride Brian McKenna is considered one of the most prominent figures of his generation in the gastronomy scene around the world. A prodigy chef and a seasoned entrepreneur, Brian strived to bring gourmet cuisine to a higher level whilst trail blazing to new ventures at the same time. A game-changer with his dynamic background of east-meets-west, Brian McKenna is one of the first foreign chefs to set foot in mainland China and shaped the gourmet dining landscape there in the past decade.

The globe-trotting chef set on his gourmet voyage visiting 40 three-michelin-starred restaurants after being promoted to Head Chef at Michelin-starred Le Poussin at Parkhill, UK at the age of 21. Brian was awarded the coveted Five Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and was named “One of the World’s Best Chefs”, the highest rating in hospitality possible, that any chefrestauranteur would dream of in 2008. Brian was also named Chef of the Year Asia by Tatler in 2008 and 2009. His establishments were awarded “Restaurant of the Year” by Food and Wine Magazine Asia for three consecutive years from 2008 to 2010.

Since 1990, the British-born chef and his restaurants have been quietly accumulating fans and accolade. Throughout his training at Ninety Park Lane and becoming head chef of the internationally renowned Le Poussin at the age of 21, Brian was deeply influenced, inspired and mentored by numerous eminent great chefs of all time including Pierre Koffman, Nigel Goodwin, Alex Aitken, Kevin Mangeolles and Juan Mari Arzak. Working alongside the masters opened up new horizon for Brian and landed him in Beijing with his love of the Orient spice after running his first restaurant, Rain which gained huge success in Amsterdam. A game-changer around the Forbidden City, Brian became a leading figure in European cuisine and a household name in Beijing, owning, operating and managing over 40 restaurants and special events like the legendary wine dinner with Robert Parker on the Great Wall and cooking alongside three-Michelinstarred chef Guy Savoy for Chateau Margaux.

Brian’s success in China on Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), ROOMBeijing, Molly Malone’s Gastropub the first of its kind in China and the legendary Brian McKenna @ The Courtyard next to the Forbidden City envisions simpler hospitality philosophy in him. He strongly believes such is the future in China and enjoys bringing his east-meets-west vision to the land.

The charisma and passion in Brian McKenna attracts high calibre talent to him. Apart from his expanding clientele including Bill Clinton, David & Victoria Beckham and Kobe Bryant to name a few, Brian has been collaborating on a long-term basis with prominent figures in the industry like three-StarMichelin Chef Jonnie Boer, Alvin Leung, Christian Le Squer and two-Star Ron Blaauw, as well as worldrenowned Chinese Chef Jin Qiang. In 2015, Brian single-handedly created more than 25 various outlet concepts for his current partnership with Imperial Pacific Resort at Saipan. A man of passion, charisma and pure love towards food, Brian McKenna is revolutionizing the world’s culinary scene.

The seasoned culinary-entrepreneur and a trailblazer, Brian is invited to manage a US$7.1 billion hotel-casino project teaming up with conglomerate Imperial Pacific International Holding for their debut collaboration in 2015. Pulling strings to build up a culinary empire, Brian set a precedent in inviting 14 Michelin-starred chefs to operate 5 selected dining concepts among 25 others. Among these reputable chefs, they include three-Michelin-Star chefs like Jonnie Boer, Alvin Leung and Christian Le Squer and other high calibres like two-Michelin-Star chef Ron Blaauw, and renowned Chinese chef Jin Qiang. A popular destination helmed by all sorts of holidaymakers, Brian single-handedly created a hotel-resort’s Michelin-star studded scene that no one has attempted before. As the mastermind behind this concept, Brian believes his philosophy on hospitality will land him and his core company “Brian McKenna” a higher horizon on the world’s culinary scene.

In 2018, Brian was appointed by billionaire, Mo Yeung Chings, to develop and operate five new concept restaurants and two state-of-the-art night bars in Vancouver and together, they will open their doors in winter 2019. This is an immense project, both in scale and grandeur, and will bring together the east and the west like never before – Brian’s forte. This venture is also set to be McKenna’s first Chinese restaurant with Alvin Leung, a threeMichelin-star chef, who will be the project’s food consultant. A Japanese dining experience, housing 1,000 whiskies from across the globe, and boasting one of the greatest collections in the world will accompany a French diner, British eatery and sweet and savoury bar occupying the Opus Hotel.

In 2018/19, Brian’s team was appointed by the owner of Minglan, to manage a hotel in Shandong, in the coastal province of the People’s Republic of China. This build, boasting 40 exquisite rooms and an acclaimed restaurant, is already a firm favourite amongst esteemed local and international personalities.