Stoked is a collaboration between Paul & Zsu. A combined 30 years of experience working in restaurants around the world has strongly influenced their approach to cooking and serving.
Stoked presents well-traveled & innovative cooking while remaining connected to the source with respect to farmers & producers.
They focus on seasonality, transparency & community, and are always on the look out for collaborations with other entrepreneurs to showcase excellent produce and the people behind the label – both locally and further afield.
Paul is always in search of outstanding ingredients and lets them shine on the plate. Trained professionally as a chef in New Zealand, he was surrounded by exceptional wineries and some of the best produce you can find. His passion for cooking led him to travel across the globe, consolidating his culinary techniques working in Melbourne, Vancouver, London and Western Europe, with pit stops in Asia and the Middle East.
In London, where he was injected with the drug of bustling restaurant vibes and unlimited possibilities, he set his goals to lead the kitchen at Peter Gordon’s pioneering fusion restaurant The Providores and Tapa Room.
Today Paul’s cooking is inspired by his travels: you’ll find classics from all around the world – often with a little twist. Every plate is well-balanced, with tart, homemade pickles lifting up a robust piece of Duroc pork, or a sharp Meyer lemon freshening up a sweet meringue.
Sharing different dishes around the table is Paul’s preferred way of eating: not only will you be able to taste a greater variety of things, you’ll also be connecting with your fellow diners, an essential part of a fulfilling meal.
Zsu’s roots go back to Hungary where she studied theater arts – which was put on a long pause after a wave of sudden decisions, including her move to London.
She met Paul while working at the Providores, treating patrons to a wonderful selection of family owned New Zealand wines, fusion cocktails & specialty coffee. She recalls learning all about hospitality at a very fast pace, it was a great place to be.
In East London she joined Stevie Parle’s restaurants where she set focus on hosting, service & management, showcasing the beauty of small-scale, artisanal produce. They regularly organised trips across the country and even to Italy to meet with producers & winemakers, finding inspiration for future menu offers.
Zsu loves listening to the stories of the charismatic producers and appreciates the discussions with like-minded suppliers – seeking ideas to create great things together.
If you hand your glass to Zsu she will fill it with something exciting: a wine full of energy, a vigorous amaro cocktail, a fragrant lemonade or a cold pressed seasonal juice.
Farm to fork is not an empty phrase in the kitchen of Stoked: Paul and Zsu have both worked on organic farms, gaining familiarity with the origins of their ingredients, resulting in respect for the farmer and ultimately an even more delicious plate of honest food.
Recently Paul & Zsu travelled across Europe, New Zealand & Japan. In 2019 they reunited in Belgium and continued their search for like-minded people in the industry, such as organic farmers and artisan producers, whom they now proudly call partners and friends.