Sam Leong is no stranger to the media as 26 years of culinary expertise and innovation has honed him to be Singapore’s very own celebrity chef. Having been trained in culinary arts by his father, a Malaysian Chef well known for his shark’s fin dishes, Chef Leong has come a long way. From becoming the executive chef of Jiang Nan Chun at Four Seasons Hotel at the age of 28 to being appointed as the director of kitchens/corporate chef for the Tung Lok Group, Chef Leong has also collected multiple accolades. A trend-setter in modern Chinese Cuisine, Sam has represented Singapore at some of the world’s prestigious culinary events, including the annual James Beard Foundation Awards (1999); Friends of James Beard Gala Dinner (2000); Master of Food & Wine, Australia (2002); Annual St Moritz Gourmet Festival, Switzerland (2002); and the Flavours of Asia event at Napa Valley,California (2004).
His list of accolades includes being named Best Asian Ethnic Chef of the Year at World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence in 2001, 2002 and 2004 and Executive Chef of the Year and Chef of the Year in 2005. He was also named Chef of the Year at the Hospitality Asia Platinum Award (HAPA) in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, Chef Leong was awarded the Five Star Diamond Award and was recognised as one of the finest chefs worldwide in the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and another award in 2009 – Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year “regional” by the World Gourmet Summit, Singapore. Leong has had the honour of serving world famous public figures such as Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, former US presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, and Queen Elizabeth II of England. He became the first Singaporean chef to join Singapore Airline’s International Culinary Panel of world-renowned chefs. In that same year, he made his first appearance on Singapore television, in a Chinese language cooking programme, King of the Kitchens. A year later, he was invited to be chef-mentor for a television cooking competition, Star Chefs 1 in 2006, Star Chef 2 in 2007 and Good Food Fun Cook in 2008. His success progressed into the publishing world when he released his cookbook A Wok Through Time,followed by Sensations, and A Taste of Home.