Old About

My Life

Born to Egyptian and Chinese parents in New Zealand and raised across continents, Bobby cemented his future as a global citizen at an early age. Bobby’s culinary story began at the age of 10, as he began to explore Asian and North African recipes in his grandmothers’ kitchens. After years of travelling around the world, a career in finance on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and a stint as a stand-up comedian, Bobby returned to his love of cooking, opening his first restaurant in Vietnam.  He has since been appointed Vietnam Tourism Ambassador to the European Union (2014). “I accidentally became a chef,” he says. “But I was born as a traveler.”

"I like to live on the edge, and sometimes you see more that way. No one gets out of here alive, and you are not going to take anything with you when you die, except the experiences that you had."

TV Personality

Bobby’s enthusiasm, energy and passion for food are infectious as he cooks and entertains. He is funny, charming, upbeat and at times cheeky, and through his trademark personality, he is a culinary celebrity across Asia and the Middle East. Bobby has his finger on the pulse; he constantly creates new dishes with a ‘Bobby twist’, drawing on his classical French training and incorporating influences he has picked up in his myriad global travels.

Bobby’s television career was launched with his first solo TV show World Café Asia on TLC – also known as Planet Food on the Discovery Channel – a culinary journey, presenting a taste of Asia through traditional street stalls, hawker centres, acclaimed restaurants, hot spots and more. He was awarded ‘Best Entertainment Presenter’ at the Asia TV Awards for the series. The second season World Café Middle East was of equal success, and he was awarded ‘Best Entertainment Programme’ by the Asia TV Awards. The show was re-cut and sold to Globe Trekker, the award-winning adventure travel TV show on PBS and Channel 4 that takes you off the beaten path, up close and personal to hundreds of destinations around the world. Following the success of his first show, Bobby hosted a second show with Discovery Network called Bobby Chinn Cooks Asia – a travel cookery series, which highlights Asian recipes laced with local history and culture.

Bobby has worked with some of the leading TV food personalities including Keith Floyd, Martha Stewart, Anthony Bourdain, Antony Worrall Thompson and Andrew Zimmern. He has appeared on CNN, BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and Full on Food, Channel4 UK’s Sunday Brunch, and UKTV Food’s Great Food Live.

Catch Me on Top Chef 


"“I am an ethnic mutt and it did not take me that long to figure it out on my first day of school."



Bobby trained under the internationally renowned Hubert Keller at Fleur de Lys in San Francisco, and set out on his own with a move to Vietnam in 1996. He spent twenty years in Vietnam learning recipes and techniques from the masters on the streets, who had perfected a single dish through several generations. He opened two award-winning restaurants – Restaurant Bobby Chinn in Hanoi (2001) and Bobby Chinn Saigon in Ho Chi Minh (2011) – and closed them when he relocated to London in 2014. Bobby introduced the modern Vietnamese concept to the buzzing London restaurant scene with the launch of his restaurant House of Ho, which has since been bought by a group of private investors.


Bobby is currently looking at sites for his next restaurant.

"I like to eat street food – eating cheap food next to the locals because there is an added sense of acceptance as well as better sense of the people and the culture. I am also more generous in poorer countries, as I fee it is good karma building.”

Sustainability Advocate

Bobby actively works with worldwide charity organizations including Blue Dragon Foundation, Lupus Singapore Foundation, Room To Read Singapore, and Kids with Cancer Foundation Vietnam.


In 2012, Bobby was appointed WWF’s Sustainable Seafood Ambassador for the Coral Triangle. In this role, Bobby is helping WWF raise awareness on the importance of responsible seafood consumption, particularly in the Coral Triangle region, to help alleviate pressures on coastal and marine environments and dwindling fish populations in this part of the world.