Bobby Chinn

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Bobby Chinn is larger than life, highly engaging and has an obvious passion for cooking, but his road to culinary success makes for unconventional reading. Born in New Zealand to a Chinese father and an Egyptian mother, Bobby was schooled in England and for a time called San Francisco home. With a degree in Finance and Economics, he tried his hand as a trader on the floor on the New York Stock Exchange and even spent some time on the stage as a stand-up comic in Los Angeles.

After running several highly acclaimed restaurants in Vietnam, including Camargue, Saigon Joe’s in Ho Chi Minh City, Miro and the Red Onion Bistro in the Hanoi Towers (formerly the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison), Bobby opened the venture that would bring him worldwide acclaim – Restaurant Bobby Chinn. It has won numerous awards including the 5-Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for seven consecutive years – in both cases the only restaurant in Vietnam to achieve this accolade.

In 2007, Bobby hosted the first series of World Café: Asia on Discovery Travel and Living Channel (now TLC), a culinary journey in which Bobby explores the many flavours of Asian comfort food, much of it originating in the streets, from street stalls to hawker centres, visiting the best local markets along the way. In 2008, Bobby hosted a second series of World Café: Asia as well as Bobby Chinn Cooks Asia. In 2010, the third instalment of the successful World Café series took him to the Middle East, for which he was later honoured as the Best Entertainment Presenter at the Asian TV Awards, the second time he received the award. Bobby is presently shooting a new TV series with Discovery TLC, involving the opening of his new restaurant in Saigon.

Bobby says: 'I continually strive to create and recreate classic dishes that transcend borders, that are sometimes unique yet familiar. My starting point in most things I do is to start with the attitude that everything is possible, never be afraid to appear stupid and you will never stop learning, which will provide the foundations to not fear failure but embrace the learning process'.

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