Katianna Hong

Katianna Hong

Chef/Partner at Yangban Society

We try to provide opportunities to learn while continuing to challenge our team. We try to put people outside of their comfort zone. We believe in mentoring and investing in each individual person.

TRAVEL!!! Unfortunately we haven’t been able to travel as much as we would like to due to the pandemic, but traditionally we like to travel to one new place every year. We love learning about different foods and immersing ourselves in another culture. A few of our favorite places are Bangkok, Seoul, New Orleans, Charleston, Rome… We always return inspired and rejuvenated. It’s so important to get out of your comfort zone/routine and have new experiences.
My internship at Melisse in Santa Monica changed my career. I graduated from a culinary student to a real working cook during my time there. I learned the skills needed to work in a professional kitchen. I matured there and they taught me a lot about respect for ingredients, finesses and pursuing excellence.
A past mentor told me to not skip steps in my career. You have to be willing to take the time to work on your craft and become a master at whatever you are doing, before looking forward to move on. When you are overzealous and force progression, you will most likely end up back where you started. Take your time and be patient.
Be humble and forever a student. There is a takeaway from every experience. With everyone that you meet, there is an opportunity to learn from their experiences.
Always be looking for inspiration – surround yourself with people who push you to be better, travel to places that you have never been, get out of your comfort zone.
Acknowledging your failures is important – however you need to learn from it and then leave it behind. Do not carry yesterday’s problems into tomorrow.
Attention to detail, punctuality, professionalism, and maintaining a positive attitude are all important skills to possess in this industry.
When hiring, we look for people with passion and a great attitude. We can teach our team members how to be organized, make a prep list, order for their respective stations, and be a better cook, but all of that is impossible if you don’t have the desire to push yourself and be better. We look for people who have a desire to grow.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

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