Chef Tong Chee Hwee
Executive Head Chef
Born in 1963, Tong Chee Hwee started his career at the age of 18 at the Happy Valley Chinese restaurant in Singapore before moving to their Kuala Lumpur restaurant. He then moved back to Singapore to work at the Hotel Carlton. It was in Singapore that he was discovered as he was overseeing the kitchens at the highly regarded Chinese restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. Tong was persuaded to move to London in 2001 to become Head Chef at the soon-to-be-opened Hakkasan Hanway Place. Within a year of its launch, Hakkasan won its first Michelin star, which it still maintains today.
In March 2005, Chef Tong was given another extraordinary accolade at London’s foremost restaurant ceremony, the Tio Pepe ITV Restaurant Awards when he was awarded the “London Chef of the Year”. He is the only Chinese chef to have won such an award. Chef Tong’s skill is presenting complex flavoured Chinese dishes with a modern flair and bringing a freshness and vitality to Chinese food. His unparalleled skill and artistry is exemplified in his unique creations that tell the story of both traditional and modern China.
Group Wine Buyer
In 2001 Christine Parkinson created the first wine list for Hakkasan, and then became Wine Buyer for the group, which includes Sake no Hana and Michelin-starred restaurants Hakkasan, Yauatcha and HKK, with operations in London, USA, the Middle East, India and China. She is also a wine judge on numerous trade and consumer panels including Decanter World Wine Awards, New Wave Spanish Wines, IWC sake awards, and Sommelier Wine Awards.
Christine has been called “one of the most creative wine buyers in the UK” by wine guru Jancis Robinson, and her wine lists have won many awards, including ‘Imbibe / Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year 2011’. Christine has also been named the ‘Taste On-Trade Influencer 2009’ and ‘Imbibe Restaurant Personality of the Year 2011.