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. Since then, the School has gone from strength to strength, winning The British Cookery School Awards in 2014, and teaching over 60,000 students the secrets of Asian cuisines - right in the heart of London.

Jeremy is now also a regular chef on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, and has published two of his own cookbooks: demystifying Chinese cooking in Chinese Unchopped, and exploring different delectable dishes in Hong Kong Diner. His latest venture is into the world of supermarket grocery products. Determined to make good, authentic, Asian food accessible to everyone, Jeremy has designed three different flavours of Stir-Fry Kits, as well as two Bao Bun Kits - teaching people how to make delicious Taiwanese Bao Buns, in the comfort of their own home, and in just 30 minutes.

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Cookery School Operations Manager

Shannon McAuliffe

A globetrotter with a passion for teaching, Shannon brings both a vast culinary experience and his organisational flare to the management of School of Wok.

Born in Jersey but spending his childhood between South Africa, England and the Channel Islands, Shannon made the plunge into professional cooking at the age of 18 when he enrolled at the Tante Marie Culinary Academy, the UK’s longest standing cookery school based in Woking, Surrey. Graduating with a Diploma in Cordon Bleu cookery, Shannon continued to pursue his training in French cuisine by moving to France to work as a professional chef. Spending the next 7 years cooking around the globe - from France, to Spain, Australia and even an 8-month stint across Asia - Shannon then returned to his alma mater, Tante Marie, to train not as a chef, but as a cookery school teacher.

School of Wok is the culmination of Shannon’s travelling, training and teaching. Working as the Cookery School Operations Manager, Shannon’s dexterity with different cuisines enables him to lead large groups of students through anything we throw at him, while his strong organisational skills and friendly teaching manner ensure everything runs smoothly and to time: from public classes to stock deliveries, food festivals and corporate events. And we’ve never seen anyone pick up Dim Sum so quickly.

Shannon’s highlight of his time at School of Wok? “The satisfaction of someone leaving the building with knowledge they didn’t have when they came in.”

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Cookery School Tutor and Assistant Manager

Heather Byres

Unbeknownst to many who hear Heather’s Scottish accent, this talented young chef was born and raised in Hong Kong. Growing up, Heather was immersed in the delights of authentic Asian cooking, and knew from a young age that she would pursue a career in food, stating: ‘It was the only thing that ever made sense to me. I didn’t understand sentence structure, or maths or chemistry, but I knew how to make food taste good!’

Consequently, on her move to the UK in her teens, Heather pursued her love of food professionally: training at the multi-award-winning Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland. Since then, she has held many positions across the hospitality sector in a variety of different kitchens, before finding her niche in teaching - particularly at School of Wok. Having lived in both Hong Kong and the UK, Heather’s knack for explaining the secrets of Asian cooking to British students is second-to-none, and immensely valuable to our London-based Asian cookery school. Having begun her School of Wok career as a marketing intern moonlighting as a cookery school assistant, Heather also knows the business inside out - from its classes, cuisines and teaching techniques, to even the plumbing mechanisms!

Also a committed vegan, Heather now champions the different vegetarian courses available at our School, and will represent the School of Wok at this year’s Vegan Life Live festival, held in London’s iconic Alexandra Palace.

The most rewarding aspect of her work at School of Wok? “Giving the ‘Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook’ people an opportunity to see that they can make delicious food!”

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Chef Tutor

Patrick McCrae

Patrick- more fondly known in the School as ‘Paddy’ - has a background centred on food and community. From working with his brother delivering milk to nearby residents and schools, to regularly helping his family with Sunday Dinner, Paddy’s love for food is deeply ingrained.

After being a vegetarian and then vegan for approximately 13 years, Paddy became a volunteer at a Clapham homeless shelter to increase his involvement with food. There 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 chefs began volunteering part-time with Paddy, numbers to the shelter increased from 10 to 60 per 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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