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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Director

Nev Leaning

Neville Leaning is a self-professed ‘cookery school junkie’ who wanted to turn his love of food and passion for learning into a career. He may have started off the boss of an event management company, it was not long before he sold it and bought The Pulteney Arms pub in Bath. There, Nev trained along side his head chef and was inspired. He quickly enrolled on the Ashburton Cookery School professional course. He was now completely immersed, and his desire to learn everything there was to know about cooking and food had taken full hold.

In 2010 through serendipity and a mutual friend, Nev met Jeremy Pang. The two instantly hit it off, sharing the same passion for food and its wealth of endless knowledge. After some deliberation the pair decided to ‘make a go of it’ teaching mobile classes and corporate events under the name ‘School of Wok’, a now two-man brand. Since then School of Wok has blossomed from the tiny mobile kitchen it started life as, into a multiple-award winning school located in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.

Nev continues to bring his passion, drive, customer-service skills, and creativity to each of his classes and ventures.

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General Manager

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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