Kay ch'ien, OWNER
Kay was born in Singapore and raised in Hong Kong, where she grew up surrounded by her family’s food business and the delicious and diverse cuisine of both cities. Her studies brought her to the University of Pennsylvania, where she double majored in economics and history, and later received a law degree. In between college and law school, she spent a fascinating year exploring her family’s roots in Beijing, teaching English and eating her way through the metropolis. A job offer at a law firm allowed her to fulfill a lifelong goal of moving to New York City. After six years as an attorney, she decided to leave “Big Law” to pursue her true passion - Asian cuisine. In 2013, Milo (now a rambunctious toddler) arrived and shortly thereafter Kay opened the well-received farm to table Chinese restaurant, 2 Duck Goose. In 2016, Kay teamed up with Carlos Barrera and Irene Khin Wong to bring delicious and wholesome Asian dishes to Brooklyn with the launch of Hey Hey Canteen.
carlos barrera, EXECUTIVE CHEF
Carlos was born and raised in Mexico City where he learned to cook at the age of seven and eventually attended culinary school. His lifelong love of food has led him to work as a chef in Mexico, Spain, the Midwest, and New York, where he now resides. Carlos has been everything from a chef de cuisine to a personal chef, and has acquired unique culinary experience in places like a Mexican winery, a corporate kitchen, fine dining establishments, and a 3-Michelin- Starred restaurant. Before coming onboard as the executive chef of Hey Hey Canteen, Carlos was the sous chef of 2 Duck Goose, Hey Hey Canteen owner Kay Ch’ien’s previous venture. While there, he honed his knowledge and passion for Asian cuisine, which he strives to express now through the taste, presentation, and quality of his current dishes.
irene khin wong, CONSULTING CHEF
Irene Khin Wong is a noted Asian chef and authority on Asian cuisine and lifestyle based in New York City. Her passion for Asian cuisine traces back to her deep-seated roots in Southeast Asia, to Burma (Myanmar) where she was born and grew up with her paternal grandmother from Canton, China. Although she started her professional life as an investment banker, Irene bade adieu to Wall Street after finding her muse as the chef-owner of Road to Mandalay, a highly successful Burmese restaurant in New York’s Soho neighborhood, for nine years. During a three-year sabbatical in Asia, Irene traveled to places such as Java, Indonesia and Canton, China, refining her craft and sharing ideas with the cities’ restaurants and hotels. Upon her return to the States, Irene founded her catering company, Saffron 59. Irene and Saffron 59 have been featured in national publications such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Time Out New York, as well as international publications in Germany, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam -- not to mention many cookbooks. Irene has also appeared on WNBC (Today Show), the Food Network, Martha Stewart Living, and other various media. In recent years Irene has found yet another avenue to focus her energies - education and mentorship - and is delighted to bring her expertise in nutritional and sustainable Asian cooking to the Hey Hey Canteen team.