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Chef's Profile

Group Executive Chef – LEE KIN PONG

Lee Kin Pong
Chef Lee Kin Pong and food go a long way back. Though he fell into the restaurant industry by accident, he thinks becoming a chef was his destiny. He fondly recalls eating out as a child with his large family (his grandmother had 8 children!), particularly the weekly ritual of Sunday dim sum that involved 2-3 tables and a few hours spent at Man Shau Kung on Jordan Road, one of their favourite and most frequented restaurants at the time.

Pong has been Group Executive Chef at RED Bar + Restaurant since it opened in September 2004.

Childhood ambition…
Restaurant manager. Only because I saw them in uniform and thought, “Wow…they get to wear suits!” They always looked so tall, put-together, smart and very cool.

Favourite food…
Seafood. But especially fish. It’s so versatile – swordfish and tuna can be eaten raw, and have a much meatier texture. Halibut is softer, almost creamy. Some fish are naturally sweeter, while something like cod is inherently salty. The variety of textures and flavours is what I love most about fish.

How you de-stress…
Drinks after work with friends or people from work. It’s the best way to get out of the work mode. Having a chat about the workday outside of work brings it into a much friendlier zone and it’s also more constructive.

The best thing someone’s said about your cooking…
When I was about 20 and still relatively new to the industry, one of my mentors pointed out my naturally keen sense of taste and how I used it to my advantage when cooking. It reinforced my belief that I was born to cook.

If you weren’t a chef, you’d be…
A salesman. (But I don’t know what I’d be selling!) I think I’m a pretty good communicator and quite a good judge of character just through initial conversation with someone.

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