Chef Sang Yoon was born in Seoul, Korea, and raised in Los Angeles, California, where he developed an early and lifelong passion for fresh ingredients and creative culinary techniques. Yoon began his epicurean career path when he was a teenager in the kitchens of two of San Francisco’s most venerable chefs, Jeremiah Tower and Julian Serrano, before attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
An externship with Chef Gray Kunz at Lespinasse in New York inspired Yoon to explore the rich and varied cuisines of Europe. At the age of 19, Yoon moved there, spending two years in Northern Italy and France. While there, he discovered robust flavors and rustically refined dishes and earned a coveted apprenticeship at the Michelin three-starred Jamin under Chef Joël Robuchon.
Returning to the United States, Yoon took a break from culinary life and attended Boston University and UCLA, where he received his bachelor’s degree in psychology. But he didn’t stay out of the kitchen long: soon he was working at Chinois on Main with Chef Wolfgang Puck. Yoon then landed his first executive chef position at Michael’s, a Santa Monica’s institution known for contemporary California cuisine, where he was tasked with simultaneously running the kitchen and updating an 18-year-old menu for the first time in the restaurant’s history.
In 2000, Yoon took a departure from fine dining and struck out on his own by renovating his favorite local dive bar in Santa Monica, Father’s Office. The restaurant’s reinvention, along with Yoon’s famous hamburger, trail blazed the gastropub movement in Los Angeles and beyond. His “Office Burger” has been hailed as the country’s best burger by the TODAY Show and Esquire magazine and Yoon has been profiled as a craft beer expert in USA Today, Food & Wine magazine, and on National Public Radio.
In 2008 Yoon opened a second Father’s Office 2.0 in Culver City, California, where he expanded the beer program to include wines on tap. In February 2011, Yoon returned to fine-dining sensibilities with Lukshon, his creative Southeast Asian outpost, located adjacent to Father’s Office 2.0.