Our heritage

The Pang Family

The Pang Family: a lineage of passionate cooks, creative entrepreneurs, and ever-hungry eaters.

Jeremy says,

"On both sides (both mums and dads) my familial lineage is filled with hungry, passionate people, with a desire to share good food and gather family together.

Mum’s side is from Guandong (Canton) where our family there still owns a popular hotel and large restaurant. I remember visiting when I was a teenager and being amazed at how they roasted their ducks and bbq pork. They had a round 'walk-in' traditional roasting oven made out of thick walls of clay, with a a big chimney at the top. There were small wind tunnels built into the sides of the wall to create a natural 'wind drying' process whilst hanging the meat on the inside walls above coal pits. This elaborate set up was just amazing, and inspired me even then.

My dad's family originated from a town near by Shanghai on his mums side and Jiangxi (central south China) on his dad's side. The first time I travelled there, we were greeted with an entourage of police cars and motorbikes and bicycles - each one carrying huge long lines of fire crackers to let the rest of the families in the village know that we had arrived and should be fed! There are 1000 Pangs in the town! Banquet after banquet we feasted for over twenty four hours, we’d never eaten so much or for so long."

Kowloon BakeryLondon Chinatown

Kowloon Bakery

"Both of my parents grew up in Hong Kong, migrating to the UK in the 60’s. Mum’s father, Tim Ho, was a Chinese baker and dim sum specialist back in Hong Kong. When they moved to London he opened Kowloon Bay Bakery (now called Kowloon Restaurant) on Gerard Street. Later granddad sold the bakery and moved to Manchester to open up a new shop- Ho’s Bakery, which was passed onto my uncles when Grandad wanted to retire. Ho's bakery is still running now and is proudly one of the first serious establishments in Manchester’s Chinatown.

Dad’s family migrated after spending years on living in a refugee camp, a far more serious life than we could ever imagine. When they migrated to the UK in the 60’s my Grandma opened a little take away called Dragon. So Dad and his seven siblings all grew up in the kitchen of the restaurant, learning the trade, how to be efficient, how to run a business etc. though in the end no one ended up taking over the business. All the uncles on my dad's side are still incredibly competitive in the kitchen and never give away their secrets. They seem to get a kick out of telling you how not to do something and then tell you why their recipe is better!

So I come from a long line of eaters, gathers, and hard workers. Proud to carry on the feasting and feeding tradition that lies in the heart of every Pang."

Head Chef & Founder

Jeremy Pang

The young and talented chef Jeremy comes from three generations of Chinese chefs. Being surrounded by food connoisseurs Jeremy developed his passion for food and cooking at an early age.

After several career changes, Jeremy decided to follow his heart and bring the world of Chinese cuisine to fellow food enthusiasts. In autumn 2009 he established School of Wok in London, a mobile cookery school specialising in teaching Eastern cuisine to students in the comfort of their own homes.

Following the success of his mobile kitchen and help from sponsors, School of Wok opened its first permanent professional kitchen in May 2012 in Covent Garden, a well-thought-out location near London’s Chinatown and surrounded by some of the finest restaurants in the capital.

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General Manager and Consultancy Chef

Melissa Wong

Since she was five, Melissa Wong has spent the majority of her life working, living, and learning in professional and commercial kitchens. As a daughter of take away shop owners, Melissa was taught the importance of teamwork, persistence and ingenuity in the kitchen. She recalls a story her mother still tells, with five-year-old Melissa pushing large potato and water-filled buckets back and forth in the kitchen with the entire strength of her body, too small to carry them, but determined to get the job done none-the-less. Melissa first learned how to handle a wok early on under the patient but demanding, detail-oriented and humorous guidance of her father. Having learned these qualities from her her first teacher, Melissa feels they are imperative to hone in her own teaching practice. Melissa also stresses the importance of preparation in each one of her classes. Melissa stresses that an organised kitchen, precisely prepared ingredients, and a calm and composed chef are imperative for success.

With experience teaching classes and cooking across a variety of cuisines at Jamie Oliver’s Recipease, working as a jeweler for a brief period, managing, organising and leading corporate events at Jeremy Pang’s School of Wok mobile kitchen, as well as teaching School of Wok’s public classes, Melissa is personally motivated and driven to get as much out of each role she takes on. She brings her unique family history, unwavering work ethic and knowledge of Chinese culture to each teaching opportunity she has, adding her own personal touch and enthusiasm to each of her classes and experiences.

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Chef Tutor

Patrick McCrae

Patrick- or more fondly known in the School as ‘Paddy’ has had a background always centered around food and community. From working with his brother to do milk deliveries to residents and schools to regularly helping out his family with Sunday Dinner, Paddy’s love for food has always been ingrained within him.

After being a vegetarian and a vegan for approximately 13 years, Paddy became a volunteer at a Clapham homeless shelter to increase his involvement with food. Here, he helped other volunteers create a 2-course meal from donations provided by the local Sainsbury’s, Pret and Marks and Spencer. After a few talented chef’s began volunteering part-time with Paddy, numbers to the shelter increased from 10 to 60 a day.

Paddy’s palate has evolved significantly over the years from designer burgers to South East Asian cuisine- with a particular love for BBQ ribs drenched in a rich sauce marinade and his Mother’s Jamaican cooking. Luckily for Paddy, his partner is a Distinct Pastry Chef which comes with the perks of appealing to his sweet-toothed adolescent!

Paddy’s Professional Chef experience really began to develop when working for Recipease in Clapham and Notting Hill giving him all the fundamental qualities of a great chef tutor from working with wonderful mentors. He enjoys watching his class grow in confidence as times passes in class and though it can be challenging at times, as he says- it helps to keep him ticking too!

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