It’s official: newly appointed Island Shangri-La Executive Chef, Uwe Opocensky, will oversee kitchen operations for the luxury hotel’s eight restaurant and bar offerings. This includes the Lobster Bar & Grill, Nadaman, Michelin-starred Summer Palace, and of course, Hong Kong’s treasured haven for haute cuisine Restaurant Petrus. Here, Opocensky will play an integral role in leading the team and spearheading a new culinary direction at the French fine-dining restaurant.
The German-born chef’s culinary career spans over three decades in which he began as a young apprentice in Germany. He then trained under revolutionary Swiss chef and restaurateur Anton Mosimann in London. Soon enough, he was cooking for royalty and heads of state, before moving on to work with the Shangri-La Group from 2004 to 2007. Starting first as the Executive Chef at the Shangri-La in Kuala Lumpur, he relocated to Hong Kong and held the same role at the exclusive Aberdeen Marina Club. During this time, he also completed a six-month stage at Ferran Adrià’s legendary restaurant El Bulli which helped to spark his fire for creative, contemporary cuisine. This was followed by a nine year stint as the executive chef at Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental in 2009.
More recently, some of us will remember Opocensky from his eponymous restaurant, UWE, which he ran alongside the Beef and Liberty restaurants. It was here that his culinary style and philosophy really pushed through. To him, food should be exciting and experiential, thus he will now encourage guest and chef interactions through personal explanations of dishes and guéridon service.
On his return to Shangri-La, Opocensky stated, “it is a great pleasure and honour to return to the Shangri-La Group and to be given the chance to lead and evolve the culinary direction of such an iconic establishment.”
With a clear vision to modernise Petrus — while upholding heritage, elegance and charm — Opocensky will make use of innovative techniques to breathe new life into the menu. He adds, “we focus heavily on seasonal, fresh ingredients, bringing diners an elevated dining experience at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong.”