chef + entrepreneur
Chef Robert Danhi, is a James Beard Finalist and Award-Winning Author of Southeast Asian Flavors, Gourmand’s Best Asian Cookbook in the USA in 2009 for his first book - where Robert demystifies the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. His most recent book Easy Thai Cooking - 75 Family-Style Dishes You Can Prepare at Home in Minutes.
He worked his way up in restaurants for a decade, then moved into education for eight years - including being a Chef-instructor at his alma mater, the Culinary Institute of America … and the Director of Education and Executive Chef of Southern California School of Culinary Arts.
Then, he was recruited to join Two Chefs on a Roll as the Executive Chef, a custom food manufacturer that served the retail and foodservice industry. Robert began developing his current expertise in R&D, maintaining culinary integrity through the complex product development process.
In 2005 Robert founded Chef Danhi & Co Inc., a consulting firm based in Los Angeles. They focus on menu and product R&D, sales and marketing support, and educational and training programs with clients around the world utilizing his R&D kitchens in Los Angeles and Malaysia. Examples include PepsiCo, Panera Bread, Campbell’s, Nestle, ConAgra, The Schwan Food Company, Mars, Lee Kum Kee, Mark’s & Spencer, Trader Joe’s, PF Chang’s, Groupo VIPs, Noodles & Co, Sunkist, The Produce Marketing Association and the National Pork Board.
With nearly 30 years of extensive research in Asia, Robert was recruited to host Taste of Vietnam, a 26episode TV show exploring the undiscovered provinces of Vietnam. Later, he was selected to be one of the main judges of Top Chef Vietnam, a 17-episode reality TV show that is based on the USA Emmy-award winning series.
He also partnered with Encore Seafoods, to produce and distribute his first four shakes: Sriracha Flakes, Thai Peanut Crunch, Ramen Crunch and Sriracha Crunch. The seasoning line - Global Flavor Shakers - launched at the 2015 National Restaurant Association show in Chicago.
In 2016 he founded RDC, a company focusing on Research, Development and Consumer Insights, They have worked with organizations like Applebee’s, Panera Bread, Kerry Ingredients, Campbell’s, Culinary Institute of America, International Corporate Chefs Association and Ventura Foods. The team works with companies that want to turn their daily experiences into actionable insights and business opportunities. RDCoder is a systems that helps organizations capture, understand, and replicate the flavor experience more accurately.
Robert thrives on traveling around the globe, 35 countries and counting. He also enjoys roasting whole pigs in the backyard, fermenting chili sauces in his test kitchen, and churning ice cream with his friends and family. He keeps in shape riding his bikes, skateboards and surfboards on the beach. Music is central to his life, as is spending time with his lovely Malaysian-born wife, Estrellita Leong – Danhi.