Remembering Alex Au-Yeung: Houston's Culinary Icon and Phat Eatery Owner Passes Away After Courageous Battle with Cancer
Food & Beverage
Photo: Phat Eatery

Remembering Alex Au-Yeung: Houston's Culinary Icon and Phat Eatery Owner Passes Away After Courageous Battle with Cancer

March 29 2024

The culinary world is mourning the loss of Alex Au-Yeung, the 52 year-old chef-owner of Katy's popular Phat Eatery, who succumbed to a swift and courageous battle with cancer as announced by the restaurant this morning.

Recognized for his innovative takes on Malaysian street food, Au-Yeung's presence in the industry was marked by a devotion to hospitality that extended beyond the walls of his beloved restaurant. "Alex always looked for ways to create a better guest experience and take care of his team. He was an active member of our industry, never hesitating to go out of his way to support a cause, help his peers or show up for the Katy and Houston communities he loved," described the restaurant statement.

A delectable spread of dishes prepared by Phat Eatery. (Source: Phat Eatery)

The Phat Eatery, situated in Katy Asian Town, opened in 2018, drawing on Au-Yeung's diverse culinary influences traced back to his upbringing in Hong Kong and his Malaysian heritage. The Eatery's menu, boasting of specialties such as the award-winning beef rendang and curry laksa, quickly gained a loyal following from food enthusiasts in Katy and beyond. Phat Eatery is currently in the construction phase of another location in The Woodlands to bring their beloved cuisine to more enthusiasts.

The restaurant, much like its owner, did not go without its share of accolades. It won recognition as one of Houston Chronicle's Top 100 Restaurants, was nominated for CultureMap’s "Restaurant of the Year," and was highlighted by The New York Times as one of "America’s Next Great Restaurants." In 2022, Au-Yeung himself received nominations as a James Beard Awards Semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas and “Chef of the Year” in CultureMap’s Tastemaker Awards.

Alex Au-Yeung, right, celebrating Year of the Dragon Lunar New Year earlier this year. (Source: Phat Eatery)

Despite the magnitude of his loss, the team at Phat Eatery remains committed to preserving and celebrating Au-Yeung's culinary legacy. "Our goal now is to honor Alex’s legacy by applying everything he taught us to ensure The Woodlands restaurant is a huge success, just as he envisioned," the statement further read.

The Phat Eatery community and its patrons are encouraged to pay their respects at Sugar Land Mortuary, located on 1818 Eldridge Road in Sugar Land, on April 1 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and April 2 from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family has encouraged donations to the Southern Smoke Foundation, an organization that supports hospitality workers in need, in honor of Au-Yeung's memory.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 

Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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