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German Chefs



Helge Hagemann

Helge Hagemann was impressed by food and cooking since the first moment he was allowed to sneak a peak at the steaming and savory-looking pots of his uncle´s restaurant. He finished his apprenticeship in the Michelin-star rated restaurant of the Hotel Louis C. Jacob in Hamburg.

After working in the Hanseatic City, he moved to Canada, Central America and Japan where he learned different techniques and how to create a variety of dishes with especially local ingredients. Since his return to Hamburg, he was engaged in different Pop-up restaurants and culinary Projects.
Together with the company ‘WerteKöche’, he gets to travel throughout Germany and the world as a culinary ambassador for German kitchen.


Mirko Trenkner

Since the age of 12, Mirko Trenkner dreamed of becoming a chef. Four years later, he put his wish into action and started his apprenticeship in the gourmet restaurant of the Berlin Hilton Hotel.

After a work placement at the Hilton Düsseldorf and his community service in Berlin, he moved to Hamburg in 1996, where he worked in one of the best gourmet restaurants of the city called Landhaus Flottbek.
Afterwards, he moved further to the north. Having worked as a chef in scenic Scotland, he learned that it only takes a little to prepare good food because each menu follows different seasons.

In 2001, he moved back to Germany and worked as a freelance chef there. In 2008, he founded the culinary company ‘WerteKöche’ together with Steffen Burkhardt. His passion is “throwing cooking spirit and knowledge in the pot”.



Steffen Burkhardt

Steffen Burkhardt has been a passionate chef for over 30 years and still loves his job.

He did his apprenticeship in the Michelin-star restaurant "Landhaus Scherrer" located in Hamburg. Following that, he opened his own restaurant “Nil” which is still one of the hot spots in Hamburg.

His credo: away from old conventions and heading towards innovative kitchen.  The topic of sustainability has become a major focus of his work and can be seen in the explicit regional and seasonal design of the dishes. And when it is possible: organic and fair.

In 2003, Burkhardt left the restaurant to pursue new challenges.

In 2008, together with Mirko Trenkner, he established the company “WerteKöche” that has the goal to embrace ‘authentic and creative kitchen’.


Duangporn Songvisava (Bo)

Duangporn Songvisava, better known as Bo, has been running the Bo.Lan restaurant in Bangkok since 2009. She has lived and worked in many different countries but always had a yearning to get back home. Bo cooks with fresh ingredients and transforms traditional Thai dishes into something quite exceptional. Together with her German colleague Mirko Trenkner, Bo has created a three-course meal for the Wanderlust-Küche project of the Goethe-Institut Bangkok.

For Thai cook Duangporn Songvisava, it is not only important that guests at her Bo.Lan restaurant enjoy their meal. Equally important is the quality of the ingredients. All produce used is fresh, healthy and organic. For the Wanderlust-Küche - A Culinary Dialogue project of the Goethe-Institut Bangkok, "Bo" and her colleague Mirko Trenkner from Hamburg have come up with a menu for a three-course meal. This gourmet experience will be offered to 120 guests at the Blue Hour Dinner on the premises of the Goethe-Institut Bangkok on November 14, 2018. The two master chefs do the shopping together beforehand to ensure the ingredients meet their own high quality and safety standards.

Bo is not only famous for her culinary skills - she is also an untiring advocate of healthy, sustainable eating. She teaches at several leading Thai universities and appears in a weekly TV cooking show where she demonstrates how to prepare easy, quick and healthy meals. Of course, she also caters for the guests of her own restaurant, which she has been running with her husband Dylan Jones since 2009. The couple serve up a new, modern interpretation of traditional Thai fare. Cooking is not only Bo’s profession: it is also her passion. She did her Masters degree in gastronomy in Australia and worked in Bangkok in the kitchen of the Metropolitan Hotel before moving to London to cook at Nahm, the first UK Thai food restaurant to win a Michelin star. Her time in London also brought Bo happiness in her private life: it was there that she met her husband, Dylan Jones. The couple now live in Bangkok.



Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a classically trained chef and a multi-award-winning restaurateur and caterer. His career spans 40 years, encompassing work with some of Australia’s most celebrated chefs. He also cut his teeth in France at the 3 Michelin-starred Troisgros, learning to master the best French cuisine. Taylor has been executive chef at some of Australia’s leading restaurants,including Bilson’s Restaurant, (Quay) and Buon Ricardo, having won several Chefs Hats in the SMH Good Food Guide.

In 1998, Darren created Gastronomy Australia. Gastronomy developed an envious reputation for fine food, wine and service. Under Darren’s leadership, Gastronomy won the following awards, RCA boardroom Caterer of the year award, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, also Venue Caterer of the year 2004.

Darren was a key partner in producing successfully, The Gay & Lesbian “Harbour Party for 5,500 patrons’ over 7 years. This included working with key stakeholders, Aids Trust NSW, Botanical Garden Trust and NSW Police.

In 2015, through strong demand, Darren launched Darren Taylor Catering. The business has grown to become recognised as an industry leader in Catering & events.


Kuala Lumpur


Ili Sulaiman

She’s a girl with a diverse heritage – and tastebuds. Growing up with her roots steeped in Chines, English, Malay and Sri Lankan heritage – food has always played an integral role in Ili’s life. But it was only at the age of 19 when she was given the opportunity to work at one of London’s most prestigious fine dining restaurants, Mosimanns, did she gain professional experience in the F&B industry.

Since returning to Malaysia, she started Dish by Ili, a catering business that dished out delicious home cooked meals in tiffins. Many also know her as the food personality and celebrity chef Ili Sulaiman who hosted TV shows such as ‘Diari Mangkuk Tingkat Bersama Ili’, ‘Home Cooked: Malaysia’, ‘Family Feast with Ili’ and ‘By the Sea with Ili’ on the Asian Food Channel (AFC).  In 2015, the bubbly self-learnt chef also bagged the title of Food Asia Hero 2015.

Today this ‘foodpreneur’ is a co-founder of social enterprise Agak Agak Initiative and looks to grow and nurture the food-obsessed community with Dish by Ili – a platform for all things food that come with great flavours, big laughs and insightful exchanges.




Thuy Linh Nguyen

Thuy Linh is in charge of café at the Goethe-Institut.

The Goethe Café complements the cultural work of the Goethe-Institut in a culinary way. Thuy Linh has been closely associated with the Goethe-Institut Hanoi for 21 years. On recommendation of the first director of the institute, she began to learn German cooking in Neustadt/Schwarzwald.

A Cooking internship at the border to Italy, enriched her experiences. All of this can be found today in the menu of the Café Goethe. More than 90% of the guests of the Café Goethe are Vietnamese.

The German kitchen subtly respects their taste habits. The selection of ingredients plays a key role for Thuy Linh. She does not use either MSG, or preservatives or artificial flavors. She prepares everything becomes fresh and seasonal. The Café Goethe is not a business for Thuy Linh, but a cultural commitment and meeting place.

This is where ex-pats meet, as well as people from the government, the embassies, the private and public sectors and art and culture.

Thuy Linh builds bridges between Vietnamese and German food cultures - a connection that makes the Café Goethe an important part of the Goethe-Institut in Hanoi.



Petty Elliott

Petty Elliott born in Manado, North Sulawesi.

Indonesian food writer, culinary teacher and self-taught chef Petty Elliott focuses on championing the diversity of Indonesian recipes and culinary traditions.  She has been pioneering modern Indonesian cuisine since 2004 through her writing and working in professional kitchens and collaborating with many Indonesian as well as international chefs. She was head contributor for Indonesia to the Miele Guide, an annually published guide to Asia’s best restaurants, from 2008 to 2013. Petty authored a weekly food column in the national English language daily, Jakarta Globe, and is a regular contributor to the monthly magazine NOW! Jakarta.
Her first book, ‘Papaya Flower, Manadonese Cuisine, Regional Indonesian Food’ was published in 2009. The second, ‘Jakarta Bites’, was published in 2016 and was awarded ‘Best Street Food Cookery Book’ at the Gourmand International Book Awards in Yantai, China in May 2017.
Petty represented Indonesia at both the Leipzig and Frankfurt book fairs in 2015 and at gala dinners at Villa Kennedy and Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof hotel. In 2017 she returned to Frankfurt to give a cooking demonstration at the book fair. Petty has delivered regular cooking classes since 2004 and in the last few year has provided training and demonstrations on Indonesian cuisine at the Sumba Hospitality School and The Hague Hotel School, Amsterdam.


Petty Elliott



Kalel Chan

Favorite Recipe: Sinigang  

Corporate Chef Kalel Chan of The Raintree Restaurants is on top of various innovative concepts such as Chelsea Grand Cafe, Chelsea Kitchen, Friends & Family, Coconut Club, Saboten, Providore, Chotto Matte, Izakaya Sensu, Kabila, and Museum Café where he started.
Embodying creativity, Chef Kalel’s innovative kitchen flair continues to evolve and for such a young culinary artist who’s never afraid to experiment, he still manages to value dining traditions from his family.
Chef Kalel never fails to cook with heart; this is clearly evident with happy and contented diners who find more reason to come back for his well-loved dishes.



Cam Thien "Steven" Long

Steven Long, raised in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, has over 14 years’ experience as a chef.

Long first started his profession as a server in a restaurant when he was 17 years old. After discovering his real passion of being in the kitchen, Steven Long henceforth decides to become a chef.

At the beginning of the Millennium, cooking in Vietnam was still widely considered an occupation only for women and initially gained him little acknowledgement by the society. Against all odds, Long has proved better by pursuing his career at some of the most prestigious restaurants in Viet Nam and internationally – making him one of Viet Nam’s most well-known young chefs today.
In recent years, Chef Steven has tried to “sew a new shirt” for the Vietnamese cuisine by combining it with the art of western decoration. He has won several awards, including Gold Medals at Taste of the World Vietnam and Food&HotelAsia (FHA) Culinary Challenge.

Additionally, Steven Long teaches at vocational schools to share his experience and passion with other people.

From 2014, chef Steven gained a nationwide reputation through his participation in cooking shows on the television such as “Top Chef Viet Nam”. Besides his success story, chef Steven always remained true to himself. “Some people give me the name of “Celebrity Chef”, but actually I am not, I’m just Long – Chef Steven Long.”



Douglas Ng

Douglas Ng is specialised in the culinary practice of Hawker Stalls.
A Hawker Stall is a Sigaporean food shop which offers local, reasonably priced food.

After Douglas completed his polytechnic he decided to change his professional direction and opened his first Hawker Stall ‘The Fishball Story’ in 2014.

He inherited his love for cooking from his grandmother. She also passed on to him the family recipe for his famous fishballs.

In 2016 ‘The Fishball Story’ was listed in the Michelin Bib Gourmand guide under the category Hawker Stalls.
Douglas’s success story continues. In addition to his two stalls ‘The Fishball Story’ at Timbre+ and Geylang, Douglas has developed another concept and recently opened the "Hakka YTF" at Timbre+. In addition, Douglas is currently expanding his successful franchise system. 

His motto: culinary is art, not chemistry!


Monique Fiso

Monique Fiso always wanted to be a chef. Fiso completed her studies at the Wellington Institute of Technology and while still in school talked her way into her first fine dining job working for Chef Martin Bosley at the eponymous Martin Bosley at the Port Nicholson Yacht Club - the number one ranking restaurant in New Zealand at that time.
Working full time while studying paid off and Fiso finished top of her class. With a hunger for adventure and a desire for a challenge, Fiso booked a ticket to New York City, home of some of the world’s best restaurants. Fiso headed for Michelin starred PUBLIC restaurant and was immediately put to work. Over the next seven years, Fiso honed her skills as a sous chef in some of New York City's top kitchens - The Musket Room, PUBLIC Restaurant, A Voce, Saxon+Parole, Double Crown, to name a few.
In 2016 she returned to New Zealand full time and began the pop-up dining series, Hiakai. Using traditional Māori cooking techniques and ingredients in combination with her michelin star training, Fiso has taken Māori cuisine to a whole new level of sophistication and pushed it into the next chapter in its food story. Fiso has been widely credited for the resurgence of Hangi (maori earth oven) style cookery being practised all across New Zealand, and for being the catalyst for a new wave of chefs incorporating Maori ingredients, cooking techniques and customs into their menus.
In 2017, Hiakai won the award for ‘Innovation in Maori Development’ by the NZ Innovation Council, as well as being named a finalist for “Supreme Innovation of the Year”, and “Start-Up Innovation of the Year”. Fiso was also named among “NZ's Top 10 rising stars to watch in 2018” by the NZ Herald.