- TV chef and founder of School Of Wok Jeremy Pang on his inspirations, best part of working in the food industry and more
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WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU WEREN’T IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY?
If I had a choice – a tech job where I could work from home for the most part and not have to worry about pleasing thousands of customers! However, if it’s a question about my history, I would probably still be stuck in a corporate marketing job in an industry I didn’t care about!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
My first ever job was for a mouthguard company. I used to wake up at 4am, drive to Hatfield and spend eight hours removing sticky mouth guards from their molds… Lovely.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Aside from good food, the hard working, passionate, people who enjoy their work and don’t take no as an answer – i.e. the people behind the good food.
WHAT’S THE WORST JOB YOU’VE DONE?
Marketing for a very well known electronics brand – to this day, I will never understand or share their values, but ironically I hold them eternally grateful because I would never have got to where I am today without working in such a terrible, hierarchical environment. My best learning during that time was how NOT to run my business.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
Variety and people. I get to meet some incredible people – successful and quirky, and every day is completely different in my job.
AND YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE?
VAT Receipts… just ask our accountant. I’m terrible with my receipts – my back pocket is full all the time because of receipts piling up.
TEA OR COFFEE?
Ask my team – they know the score. Coffee makes me go mad, tea makes me feel great. Builders brew, splash of milk and since just 1/2 a sugar please… unless I’m on holiday.
HOW ABOUT THE FOOD INDUSTRY – IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO CHANGE?
Wages (especially in the restaurant world). Kitchen attitude (from restaurateurs to head chefs through to the bottom). Good food should come from the heart. If you take the best local restaurants around the world, they are often run by passionate, friendly, local chefs and people – why can’t every kitchen be run like that?
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST SUPPER?
I used to say steak and chips, but as I grow older, I get closer to my roots. I’ve realised that Chinese food is great because it lends itself to feasting!
WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
A few years back, I made a New Year’s resolution for the first time: If I have an idea that I know will guarantee to benefit myself, my loved ones or anyone around me, I do it straight away. No thinking twice.
WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING THAT YOU’VE EVER EATEN?
Terrapins foot – when I was a kid in China on holiday. Yes, I freaked out.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK?
Maybe a little cliche for a chef – but Kitchen Confidential.
SWEET OR SAVOURY?
Savoury, topped off with sweet.
Originally published in Nov/Dec 18
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