The most talented (and attractive…) chefs in HK!
Things are getting heated at Sassy HQ – and it’s not because we’ve just fired up the oven – we’ve got a list of the ‘Hottest Male Chefs in Hong Kong’ and there’s been some tasty competition! In honour of the weekend’s Taste of Hong Kong Festival we’ve done some serious research (well, if you call spying on chefs as they cook research) to bring you the most talented, the tastiest and the damn right hottest chefs residing in the 852. These guys are super skilled in the kitchen, creating delicious dishes that we just can’t get enough of… and it just so happens that they’re pretty attractive too! And ladies, there is just too much eye-candy to put into one post, so we’ve separated the men from the women to allow maximum appreciation – stay tuned for our list of the Hong Kong’s Hottest Female Chefs, coming soon! Allow us to present the first in this two-part series…
Chris Whitmore, Aberdeen Street Social
Executive Chef of Aberdeen Street Social, Chris Whitmore started his career as Sous Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in London, standing by Jason Atherton when he received his first Michelin star. He was then appointed Senior Sous Chef at the 3-Michelin star Gordon Ramsay Restaurant. Now calling HK his permanent home, he will also be showing that pretty face of his over at Taste this weekend and serving up some of the best food in town.
Why we love him: His dry sense of (British) humour and moodiness for anything other than food.
Luca Marinelli, Isono
Chef Luca started cooking in restaurant kitchens from the tender age of 15, in his home country of Italy. He dedicated every weekend and summer holiday to improving his cooking skills, and went on to work in several Michelin star restaurants across Europe, including Savini, Uliassi, and Cenador de Amos. He’s now Chef de Cuisine for Isono, one of our favourite spots in PMQ, and you’ll see him rushing from kitchen to floor doing what he does best.
Why we love him: He’s creative with his cooking and is easy on the eyes (we peaked a sneaky tattoo on his arm poking out of his chef’s jacket too!)
Mutaro Balde, Bibo
Mutaro spent time working under Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athenée Hotel Paris and Joël Robuchon in London before taking over as executive chef at French restaurant Bibo. He was approached by the team while living and working in Paris, packed his bag and knives and hasn’t looked back! You’ll find him this weekend at Taste of Hong Kong cooking up a storm – we’ve tried his beef tartare, which he’ll be serving at Taste, and trust us, you’re not going to want to miss out.
Why we love him: He’s a hardcore Hong Kong fan and he’s super friendly and approachable. Be sure to go and say hi!
James Henry, Belon
New boy in town James is the face behind Black Sheep Restaurant’s latest venture – Neo-Parisian Bistro, Belon. The Australian chef has won accolades for his past tenure at Bones, a beloved eatery in the trendy 11th arrondissement in Paris. Not shy of an adventure, he shipped himself and his family thousands of miles around the world to delight us all with his incredible skills.
Why we love him: Erm, have you seen him?! We also love his dedication to cooking and uprooting his life to move to HK!
Jowett Yu, Ho Lee Fook
It must be a hard job being the frontman in one of the most popular restaurants in town, but Taiwanese-born chef Jowett Yu always seems so cool and collected. Taking his inspiration for Ho Lee Fook from the spirit of late-night Chinatown hangouts in New York, he has created somewhat of a legacy in Hong Kong. You’ll spot him laughing in the kitchen or mingling with guests in the restaurant with his infectious smile. Oh, and make sure you try the short ribs… and his Mom’s dumplings!
Why we love him: His dedication and commitment to his passion, and that smile!
Fabrizio Napolitano, NOM
Moving to Hong Kong nine years ago after a strong experiences in several Italian Michelin star restaurants, Italian Chef Fabrizio is now a huge part of the F&B scene. Owner and chef of NOM (Not Only Meatballs), his Italian flair and passion shine through in all his dishes.
Why we love him: He’s been through the ups and downs of moving to Hong Kong like the rest of us and is living proof that HK gives back what you put in. He’s also one of the most down to earth chefs we know, and an all round good guy!
Bjoern Alexander, Twenty-Six by Liberty
No stranger to Michelin stars, Bjoern started his career with internships at the 3 Michelin Star Schlosshotel Bensberg with Joachim Wissler and 3 Michelin Star French Laundry with Thomas Keller. In 2008, his hard work, talent and passion were rewarded with his own Michelin Star at Gabriele Restaurant in Berlin, Germany. Today, he calls Hong Kong home and brings an intimate and interactive dining experience to the guests right at the “Chef’s Table” high above the Hong Kong skyline in Central.
Why we love him: He’s fairly new to the HK dining scene but is already making waves, and we just can’t resist that cheeky smile.
Vicky Cheng, VEA
Hong Kong native Chef Vicky is known for his beautiful dishes and fine attention to detail. After working with some of the best chefs in the world (we’re talking Daniel Boulud of the Michelin star restaurant Daniel in New York and Jason Bangerter of Auberge du Pommier, to name a few), Vicky returned to Hong Kong as Executive Chef of Liberty Private Works. Now he heads up the kitchen for the creative cocktail and dining concept, VEA. His carefully created tasting menu is expertly paired with wine or cocktails, and we were wowed by the stunning presentation of his unique dishes – this guy is all about perfection!
Why we love him: You can tell how focused and determined Vicky is when you watch him work, but he still manages to keeps a calm, controlled demeanour in his open kitchen – what a pro!