Rene Johari grew up with both parents who were international professional chefs, so he was always surrounded by great food. Born in Kuala Terengganu and raised in many parts of Malaysia from Penang, Ipoh, Johor and finally Selangor, his taste buds were exposed to many diverse tastes, flavours and cuisines from a young age.
While other kids spent their school holidays hanging out in malls and cinemas, Rene was seeking out top chefs and food venues so he could learn from them, by working as a chef’s apprentice from the ripe old age of 15.
Eventually gaining his Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Management at UiTM (University of Technology MARA) while continuing to learn on the job, Rene found his passion in modern gastronomy through his apprenticeship with renowned Adelaide-based Malaysian master chef Cheong Liew.
International exposure followed him as he took part in culinary competitions, culminating in ambassadorships for the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture, Tourism Malaysia, and the Malaysia Kitchen campaign to promote Malaysian food to the world.
When the opportunity arose, Rene did not hesitate to move to Abu Dhabi, UAE to join the culinary team of The Yas Hotel for the launch of the historical Formula 1 race and track for UAE.
From his new base in the Middle East, Rene achieved his dream to work under a Michelin-starred chef when he was given the opportunity to be a part of the opening team of London-based Galvin Brothers in Dubai. Today, Rene is the executive chef of DoubleTree by Hilton Business Bay in Dubai, where he has the privilege to showcase his modern Malaysian and South Eastern influence in many of his dishes.