Alex Au-Yeung didn’t start on the most obvious path to becoming a chef. Raised in Hong Kong by Malaysian parents, he came to the U.S. at 17 and attended the University of Houston, studying aviation technology and then opening an automotive shop that specialized in Japanese imports. But he eventually found a place in restaurants, first running an eight-seat Chinese restaurant before opening a more ambitious Malaysian spot that quickly gained a local following and became a regular on top-restaurant lists.
Today, Au-Yeung runs that restaurant, Phat Eatery, in Katy Asian Town, serving Malaysian street food inspired by the country’s vibrant hawker stalls, with dishes like laksa, nasi lemak, beef rendang, and roti canai. His efforts led to a 2022 James Beard Awards Semifinalist nod for Best Chef: Texas, and fresh off that success, he’s opening a second Phat Eatery location in the Woodlands early next year.
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