Superstar chef Kylie Kwong retires from restaurant business


Kylie Kwong out the front of Lucky Kwong
Images: Supplied

Kylie Kwong is quitting the restaurant business after 24 years, closing her Australian-Cantonese eatery Lucky Kwong in Sydney soon.

“At the end of June I am hanging up my restaurateur hat,” Kylie confirmed on social media.

“I’d like to step into the next phase of my practice, a continuation of my lifelong passion for food, art, culture and connection.

“Through the lens of food and interconnectedness, I wish to place all my energy, focus and time, into helping share and amplify other people’s stories, particularly the important voices of First Nations people, and our multicultural communities, who make Australia the rich and diverse country that it is today.”

Kylie said she’s feeling “clarity, excitement and strength” about her new chapter.

In response, British superstar chef Nigella Lawson wrote she felt a “pang knowing that the next time I come to Sydney there won’t be your restaurant to make a beeline for, but I’m so happy for you to have the time to do what’s right for you.

“Thank you for all those years, and for your delicious and soulful genius!”

Matt Moran also declared the “one of a kind” Kylie Kwong a “very special human that stands for everything good in life”.

Kylie Kwong did an apprenticeship with Australian chef Neil Perry in the 1990s, before becoming a high-profile celebrity in her own right.

In 2000, Kylie opened her first restaurant. Lucky Kwong opened in 2021. The chef named that South Eveleigh eatery after her late baby son Lucky, whom she and wife Nell lost in 2012.

Kylie Kwong appearing on ABC’s Australian Story

Kylie Kwong will open up in an episode of ABC’s Australian Story next Monday night (May 27).

“I’ve been running my own restaurants — Billy Kwong and Lucky Kwong — for 24 years and cooking professionally for more than 30 years,” she told the ABC.

“I just feel like it’s the right time. I have given this piece of my life everything I can give it.

“There is sadness around this decision, of course, because it’s three decades of my life.

“But I also feel an excitement because another door is opening, as only it does when we close one door.”

Kylie Kwong has shared her moving coming-out story before. She met her life partner Nell (below) in 2006 and the pair married in 2019.

The celebrity chef was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 2023.

At the time, Kylie said she was “flabbergasted” and acknowledged Nell, mother Pauline, and her “angel baby, Lucky Kwong”.

“Without their unconditional love, continual support and spiritual guidance I could not do what I do,” she said.

Lots more about Kylie Kwong:

Kylie Kwong shares emotional coming out story

‘We are so happy’: Kylie marries her partner Nell

Kylie Kwong appointed Sydney WorldPride Rainbow Champion

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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