Meet the chefs behind Soho House Hong Kong’s menus
With a monthly Feast, hero dishes and unique tablescaping, the team share how they make every dining experience special
Wednesday 15 November 2023 By Soho House
You won’t go hungry at Soho House Hong Kong. Not with a menu that includes some of our classics, locally inspired Cantonese favourites, Cecconi’s Northern Italian dishes and, of course, the popular monthly Feast – as well as one-off supper clubs and dinners. You’re in safe hands, too: the House Kitchen is headed up by Soho House Hong Kong Executive Chef Krzysztof Czerwinski and his Senior Sous Chef, Işıl Okçu.
Born and raised in Poland, Czerwinski worked under Gordon Ramsay in London before heading to Asia – where he gained invaluable culinary experience in Japan, Korea and China. From here, Czerwinski headed for the kitchen of Soho House Hong Kong, bringing with him a wealth of international knowledge. Okçu is also well-travelled. She joined the kitchen of Soho House Istanbul as a fresh-faced culinary school graduate, where she ‘fell in love with Soho House’. Nine years later, she’s spent time in five Soho House kitchens worldwide, and now calls our Hong Kong outpost her home.
Together, Czerwinski and Okçu are the brains behind Soho House Hong Kong’s menus, as well as the monthly Sunday Feast. They’re also the creators of the highly anticipated Christmas Feast, which returns this December. ‘We did it last year and it was very popular,’ Czerwinksi tells us. ‘It’s what the holidays is all about – lots of food, family gathering together, friends catching up, singing Christmas carols, and having fun.’
We caught up with the chefs to find out what makes the menus at Soho House Hong Kong so special, why the Feast is such a hit, and the importance of setting the table with style.
Soho House Hong Kong Executive Chef, Krzysztof Czerwinski
Can you describe the food at the House?
‘It’s very diverse: on the 27th and 29th floors, we serve locally inspired dishes with a focus on local ingredients. On the 28th floor, we have Cecconi’s – which is only available to members, unlike many other Cecconi’s around the world. Everything is coming from just one kitchen, so in one section we have a pizza oven and in another we have Peking duck.’
How do you ensure all of these different dishes still feel distinctly Soho House?
‘Take the Peking duck, for example: we cook it in a very traditional way, but then we add different garnishes. We might use watermelon radish or pickled jalapeno – that gives the dish the Soho House twist.’
How does the local Hong Kong food scene influence your kitchen?
‘Hong Kong is such a melting pot of cultures, which we try to reflect in our local dishes. It was a fishing village back in the day, but over the last 20 years or so we’ve seen the introduction of so many innovative dining concepts. The city is vibrant, with a lively food culture – it’s important for us to incorporate that.’
The Feast is a big hit with Hong Kong members; what can people expect from it?
‘We host it once a month on a Sunday, and lay out a huge spread for members – there’s a real feeling of abundance, and always something new for them to try. Three or four months ago we actually moved the food into the kitchen, so now members come inside and choose dishes from the set-up we create in there. We really try to encourage a family feeling; people coming together to eat and relax.’
Soho House Hong Kong Senior Sous Chef, Işıl Okçu
How do you make the Feast such a special occasion for members?
‘It’s about enhancing everything that surrounds the food – not only ensuring that the cooking is amazing, but also the storytelling around it. When designing the Feast table, the first thing that comes to mind is the colours and textures of the food, alongside all of the decorative details we add to the spread. Marble or wooden serving boards, flowers, that kind of thing. I love creating something eye-catching.’
Why is tablescaping so important for the Feast?
‘The eyes eat first, and setting a table is a sign of a divine meal. Some people dedicate themselves exclusively to table design, but I want to combine this with food – they go hand in hand.’
What are your top tips for tablescaping at home?
‘Layers. And consider the centrepiece. That could be a sculpture or the hero dish of your meal. The rest of your dishes should then act as decoration around that. You can slowly build up additional details to create a visually rich table.’
To dine at Soho House Hong Kong, book your table via the Soho House app