Peng S. Looi

Executive Chef/Owner of August Moon Chinese Bistro and Asiatique

Chef Peng S. Looi's life is as eclectic as the dishes he serves. He was born and grew up in Ipoh, Malaysia before continuing his high school education in Manchester, England. In 1981, Chef Looi came to the United States and earned his degree in civil engineering. He soon realized his heart was with cooking not engineering while doing his internship.

In 1987, Looi opened his first award-winning restaurant August Moon Chinese Bistro featuring contemporary Chinese cuisine with South East Asian influences reflecting his ethnic background. In 1994 came the upscale casual Asiatique Restaurant serving his own unique and artful interpretation of East - West Pacific Rim cuisine. Local and regional food critics have quoted Looi's work as 'works of edible art'.

Recognition came soon, with exceptional reviews from every Louisville area food writer and other national features in The Courier-Journal, Louisville Magazine, Leo Magazine, American Automobile Tour Guide, Mobil, Scene Magazine, Delta Airline, Southwest Airline, Air Canada and Vegetarian Times. Looi's works were also featured in Asian Restaurant News, Bon Appetit and Chef's Magazine.

His first establishment was awarded 'Best Oriental Restaurant' by Louisville Magazine. In addition, the restaurant received the Leo Magazine's 'Outstanding Chinese restaurant' award for multiple years. It also won the 'Best Upscale Casual' award by Prep Magazine.

Asiatique Restaurant was awarded 'Best Asian restaurant' by the Louisville Magazine and Leo Magazine. It has also won the Citysearch "Best Asian" and Bon Appetit magazine's "Top 125 restaurants nationwide". Both restaurants were also awarded the Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence" for multiple years.

Chef Looi has been invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House four times and was a master chef at the World Gourmet Summit in Las Vegas and Dubai, UAE. In 2007 and 2009, he was invited by the Chefs Association of Malaysia, Malaysian Hotel Association and the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, to judge at the prestigious Culinaire Malaysia, the largest culinary competition in the South East Asian region. He is also invited for guest chef appearances nationally like the Epcot Food + Wine Festival, Disney, Florida and Grand Food + Wine Affair, Houston and the Charleston Food + Wine Festival,

In March 2008, Chef Looi was honored with the nationally prestigious Jefferson Evans award for 'Chef of the Year' in New York. This was the first time the award honored an Asian chef.

Well known for his commitment to community and charitable causes, Chef Looi has been the coordinating chef for the Crane House (an Asian Institute based in Louisville, Ky) annual biggest fundraiser, Asian All-Star dinner, for numerous years. He has also assisted in raising funds for the Salvation Army Culinary program and Kosair Children Hospital Cancer wing. Besides community work, he is also an advisor to the Culinary Department, Sullivan University. He and his family resides in Louisville, KY