Member of the Month March 2017: James Oakley

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st April 2017

Here at The Staff Canteen, we felt it would be a great idea to show our appreciation to our loyal users, so to honour this we will be featuring a different member every month who we think deserves to be celebrated - this month’s winner is James Oakley.

As a member who regularly contributes to our site via the app Chef+, James will recieve a signed copy of Pierre Koffmann's book 'Classic Koffmann: 50 Years A Chef' and The Staff Canteen mug.

Alibi restaurant, Cordis Hotel - Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Alibi restaurant, Cordis Hotel -

Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Current place of work, position and a brief overview of where you have worked before.

I am currently the chef de cuisine of Alibi restaurant at Cordis Hotel in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Previously I was executive chef of Armani restaurant  in Hong Kong. I have also previously worked in Thailand and Malta.

The last position I held in the UK was as head chef of Llys Meddyg in Pembrokeshire and prior to that I was junior sous in Tassili at Grand Jersey Hotel (under Richard Allen as part of the team when he gained his Michelin star).  I also did a stint at Michelin-starred Lords of the Manor (under Matt Weedon) and very early in my career I had a stint at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's.

>>> Related: Richard Allen, Executive Head Chef, Grand Jersey

What is your cooking style and what can people expect from the food on your menu?

I would consider my cooking style to be modern-international. I have been very fortunate to have travelled a lot and I like to incorporate techniques and flavours from what I have seen and learnt. I have worked with British, classic French, Italian, Japanese, modern European and Thai cuisines.

What do you like about The Staff Canteen app and website? 

I really like The Staff Canteen app as it is a great way for all chefs and food fans alike to share ideas to inspire and be inspired. The website is great for me as it keeps me in touch with what people are doing back home.

Beetroot cured salmon, yuzu, tapioca by chef James Oakley, Alibi restaurant in Hong Kong
Beetroot cured salmon, yuzu, tapioca

>>> See James' profile and follow him here

What is your favourite dish to cook?

'Favorite dish to cook' is a really tough one to answer as I really do not have a favourite dish to cook. I would however say I enjoy cooking meat classicly in a pan, on a stove with butter and aromats. I was trained prior to all the technology we see today and whilst I love the consistency that can be achieved with the modern technology, it requires a great amount of skill to consistently cook meat perfectly and it gives me a real sense of accomplishment. Also, I love the depth of flavour when cooking meat classically.

Guilty pleasure: list food item / dish / ingredient that aren’t considered ‘cheffy’ but you love to eat

My guilty pleasure? I do not even need to think about it, fried chicken! So as ashamed as I am, I would say KFC.

What are your plans for the future?

 As for the future, I am very fortunate to have found a restaurant where I and the people I am working with share the same vision for a social dining experience. Where people can get food of the highest standard but in a more relaxed, informal environment. So I would say my focus is to help make Alibi be the best restaurant it can be! After that, we will see...

Do you want to be the next Member of the Month? Download the app now for free and start sharing your images, videos and recipes and interacting with other members to be in with a chance of winning!

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>>> For Android: Click here to redirect to Google Play

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st April 2017

Member of the Month March 2017: James Oakley