Justin Cheung

Born and raised in Vancouver, Justin Cheung studied culinary arts at Vancouver Community College before working for Hyatt hotels and resorts on the East Coast of Canada and United States. After returning home, Justin worked with one of his mentors, Chef Alex Tung, at the iconic Tapenade Bistro in Steveston, Richmond, deepening his understanding of French and Mediterranean cuisine.

After taking the reins to the kitchen, his focus was to study his roots in an attempt to connect back with his mother’s Malaysian cooking. Hard pressed to find much authentic Malaysian cuisine in Vancouver, he worked for acclaimed Chef Angus An of Maenam, where his palate was trained to balance the Thai essentials of salty, sweet, spicy and sour.

Justin Cheung went on to open Longtail Kitchen in New Westminster followed by Freebird Chicken Shack. Both restaurants specialize in flavors of Thailand and Malaysia, as well as flavours of their surrounding countries. His philosophy is to recreate certain childhood memories in his cooking and continue to discover new ones through his travels and experience.

“We serve food the way we want to eat it. There is nothing more intimate than serving it this exact way; not to shy away from fiery spice, pungent herbs, roasted shrimp paste or cow’s blood. We want the customer’s experience to be the same as if they were to sit down for staff meal with us and as close as it would be to have this meal in its original habitat.” Justin now spends most of his free time with his wife Rachel, 3-year old daughter Eloise as they anticipate their second child early next year. On occasion, you may find him stopping hockey pucks on the ice.

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