As the first U.S. concept by Indonesia-based Imperial Group, Imperial Lamian announced Andy Foo as the restaurant’s executive wok chef. Opening this winter, Imperial Lamian offers diners authentic, yet modern, Chinese cuisine in a stylish, open-kitchen environment, right in the heart of Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
Since joining the Imperial Group, Chef Foo is a vital leader in both the creative and culinary development of the organization. As a steward of his native Singaporean culture, Foo is committed to purveying an immersive menu where in every nuance guests can experience the best of Southeast Asian cuisine.
“We are very excited to officially announce Chef Andy, who has been an integral part in bringing Imperial Lamian to the U.S., making multiple trips stateside during the planning process,” says Imperial Lamian CEO Vincent Lawrence. “We look forward to bringing our authentic Chinese cuisine to Chicago this winter, and we could not do it without Chef Andy and his culinary expertise.”
Foo brings years of professional and personal wisdom to the Imperial Group. From childhood, Foo has been engrossed in the world of restaurants. As a single parent, Foo’s mother owned and operated a small restaurant to provide for her three children. On school holidays Foo assisted his mother at her restaurant where he was first exposed to the genuine pride and affirmation that accompanies the art of cooking.
Foo embraced his mother’s passion and entered the culinary profession in his teenage years. For 19 years, Foo migrated around Southeast Asia undergoing apprenticeships until finally achieving the status of executive chef at a restaurant in Singapore.
Two years later, he became the chef de cuisine at Hakkasan Restaurant, a Michelin Star awarded Cantonese restaurant renowned for its contemporarily chic yet indisputably authentic dishes. Almost an evangelist of Chinese cuisine, Foo continued his circuit around Europe, manning kitchens from Ireland all the way to Russia.
“For me, being a chef is not only transforming food into dishes,” Chef Foo says. “But to love and respect each dish, in order to preserve our culture and hopefully those who enjoy the food can feel our passion as well.”
From the implementation and design of the menu to the training and recruitment of the staff, Chef Foo is dedicated to establishing Imperial Lamian as a paragon of Chinese cuisine in Chicago.