Pol Garcia Blades. (San Sebastian, 1978). His mentors include the Michelin star chefs Martín Berasategui (Lasarte) Koldo Royo (Palma de Mallorca) Marco Piere White (Keyside,London) and Uve Opocensky (Toast, London).
His travels have taken him to the kitchens of London (including 'Soho House' and 'The Vine'), Barcelona (including 'El Principal’ and 'Lupino') Le Mamouche (Morroco) and opening the kitchen of ‘Tapas Cafe’ (Bangkok)
He is been as executive chef & founder of Foodlab designing events & menus for diferents restaurants, hotels and brands in different countries such as like Cava Freixenet, Ron Barcelo, Zacapa, Glenrothes, Glenfiddich, Lagavulin, Talisker, Grey Goose, Bacardi, Matusalem, Flor de Caña, etc…. .
Developing his new concept POP SECRET Pol Garcia explore the collaboration of chefs using their passion for food as a catalyst to stimulate cooperation between creative communities through the medium of art, adding psychological and behavioral mufti-sensory experiments in all his pop up events.
This Canary sommelier has more than 10 years of experience in the catering industry.
He has been working at Nerua restaurant in Bilbao and at Martín Berasategui restaurant with 3 Michelin Stars until 2008 when he joined to Epicurean Group and came to Shanghai to open El Pomposo Spanish restaurant.
Kilian now is the head manager of one of the best Spanish restaurants awarded by Shanghai WOW, winner of the best tapa championship El Patio.
With over twenty-six years of extensive luxury experience in France and Asia – including time with three Michelin-starred restaurants such as Château de Pray and Royal Champagne, and international five-star hotels such as Crowne Plaza – Franck has spent ten of those years being deeply involved in the Chinese F&B industry. Previously the Secretary General Asia of the Disciples of Auguste Escoffier International Chef Association, Franck worked closely with the China Cuisine Association (CCA), Executive Chef at IHG Intercontinental Puxi Shanghai, Executive Chef at Mr & Mrs Bund as well as Senior Sous Chef at Sens & Bund by the three Michelin-starred Pourcel brothers. Now Franck brings his years of expertise to Unico, upholding its unique Latin ambience with culinary creativity, enticing flavours and unrivalled flair.
El Willy group was created in 2008 in Shanghai by the eponymous chef "Willy" (aka Guillermo TrullAs Moreno).
Born in Barcelona (his age is still confidential) Willy made his inroads to the kitchens of some of the most emblematic restaurants in the '90s scene, including "Georges Blanc" in France and "Aquavit" in New York.
With the new millennium Willy spent time back in his hometown and opened "Buzzing", a trendy bistro in Grkia neighborhood. After three years there he decided to look for new horizons and set sail to China in 2007, working one year as the Greater China Executive Chef of the Spanish Torres winery.
In 2008 he finally managed to open his own and signature restaurant "El Willy" on the former French concession in Shanghai, and from there he has not stopped to enlarge the creation of new outlets every year, including sexy cocktail bars.
Shanghai, Hong Kong and Asia are now El Willy Group's home and where they will welcome you for truly himble and fun time, with passionate service and looking always to bring the best quality of the product to your table.
Koen Vessies: Executive chef of el Willy fun F&B group (el Willy, elEfante, Tomatito, el Coctél, el Ocho and Bikini in Shanghai, FoFo and La Paloma in Hong Kong and Tomatito Manila coming soon!)
Koen found his calling at an early age, starting his F&B career at 13 years old as a dishwasher in the local restaurant of the town he grew up in. Koen studied Hospitality Management in The Hague by day.
Koen has taken his passion and talent with him around the world, training in some of world’s most renowned restaurants in Holland, Dubai, France, Spain and Italy, before bringing his love and innovation right here to Shanghai in 2011.
Koen and Willy’s partnership over the past four years has been unstoppable, with nearly all of their restaurants and bars consecutively being awarded ‘best in Shanghai’ across a wide range of categories, and new sexy tapas bars continuing to pop-up around the city.
Chef Edgar Hernandez, from Mexico D.F., is also a master Mezcalier,. A huge supporter of traditional methods and developing the gastronomic cuisine of Mexico, he was one of the Chef/Researchers for the “Diccionario Enciclopédico del Estado de Colima” by his mentor Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita. He has worked along side of Chef Pilar Cabrera, as the executive chef of La Olla. At Tepito, Chef Edgar leading our team to bring authentic Mexican flavors to our Shanghai table.
Kelley Lee is a celebrated chef and entrepreneur from Los Angeles, CA. She is a well-known Shanghai based restaurateur and the creative force behind concepts such as Boxing Cat Brewery, Liquid Laundry, Cantina Agave, Tepito and Sproutworks. Lee was one of the first to bring molecular mixology to China with her bar the Alchemist Cocktail Kitchen.
Kelley Lee studied Business Administration at the University of Southern California and started working for PricewaterhouseCoopers before pursuing her passion at Le Cordon Blue Paris.
Lee has been featured in a many international and local publications, including the Wall Street Journal and LA Weekly. Her restaurants have been featured in Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, Reuters, and the South China Morning Post, Lonely Planet and Fodor’s.
Originally from Perú, Chef Carlos Sotomayor has been working in kitchens since the early age of 16. Formerly studying computer science, he decided to do a 360° change and he finished a Bachelor in Hospitality Management at USIL in Peru with a minor in Gastronomy.
He holds a Diploma in French Culinary Arts at L’Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France. Where he trained under different MOF’s and Michelin starred chefs. He has international experience working in United and States Germany.
He arrived in Shanghai in the summer of 2014 to work for el Willy Fun F&B Group. Starting as a Sous Chef the Cuisine in el Willy on the bund, to later overlook the operation in Tomatito. Since fall 2015 he took over elEfante restaurant in the French Concession.
Chef Juan Campos: I’ve been cooking for many years. I studied in a F&B school in Malaga (Spain) and then I directly "run" into the kitchen of a restaurant. Both my sister works in the food and beverage industry, my elder sister as a chef and my little sister as a pastry chef. I came to China interested in cooking and learn above all about Asian cuisine. I was working in London before I got the opportunity to move to China 4 years ago. A friend of mine introduced me to the people behind Malabar and I soon joined the team.
After almost 4 years of classic Spanish food in Malabar we all felt it was time and we were ready for a new adventure. So we decide to open Raw, a place where I can present myself and my style with a new cuisine concept, something totally unknown in China until now.
Michael Wendling's career started at the age of 14 in Montpelier, France. Eventually, his skills earned him a place in the kitchen of the three-Michelin-starred Thalacap in Banyuls sur Mer, where he was promoted to Chef de Partie at the three Michelin-starred restaurant Georges Blanc in Vonnas. In 2003 Wendling started as Sous Chef at the famed La Villa Des Lys in Cannes earning a second Michelin star. Three years later, the luxury hotel chain Le Royal Meridien in Shanghai recruited Wendling to develop, open, and run the kitchen at Allure. By 2007, Travel & Leisure magazine named it "Best New Restaurant in Asia".
In 2011, Wendling blazed his own trail with Cuivre. Voted Shanghai's "Best Restaurant" by Disciples d'Escoffier, "Best Newcomer," 4 times "Best French Restaurant," 2 times "Restaurant of the Year", and "Best French Restaurant" by ‘’That's Shanghai’’ . Wendling soon expanded his oeuvre with Thai cuisine, one of the city's finest Thai restaurants. Today, Wendling is still exploring new culinary terrain with his latest venture, CU2+, a casual lounge popular in Shanghai for its inspired gourmet burgers with a French twist.
Starting at the age of 16, Mauro Pompili originally from Argentina, started his path in pastry with the world’s renowned chef, Beatriz Chomnalez, in Buenos Aires. With international experience in Paris at the three Michelin-Starred restaurant, L’Arpege; London at the three Michelin-Starred restaurant, Gordon Ramsey; and Barcelona with one of the most influential pastry chef, Ramon Morato. In 2012, Mauro moved to New York City, where he was introduced an intriguing concept of the opening of ChikaLicious expansion in China. This is when fate has brought him to meet his partner, Maya Sittisuntorn.
Maya Sitti originally from Thailand was sent to the United States at 13, where she earned a BFA in Industrial Design from one of the most renowned schools Savannah College of Art and Design. When she moved to New York City in 2010, she started to work for the three Michelin-Starred restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. She joined ChikaLicious in 2014 and her skills made her work under the wing of Chika Tillman herself as their Executive Pastry Chef. Soon after in 2015, she named one of the respected Zagat 30 under 30. By the end of the year, her expertise was needed to join force with Mauro Pompili for an elevated-style ChikaLicious expansion in Greater China.
The diverse backgrounds brought Mauro and Maya together to express their work in a different way but they both believe in the beauty of simplicity. The talented duo focuses on the freshness of the seasonal ingredients. They "let the ingredients speak."
Francisco's cuisine is influenced by his training and experience in Spain, Japan, China and his native Chile. After graduating from culinary school in Chile, Francisco worked at Alma in Santiago before training at Andoni Luis Aduriz’s Mugaritz in Spain. In 2007, he returned to Santiago and joined the team at Boragó in Santiago as head chef and creative director for I&D by Rodolfo Guzman.
In 2008, he returned to Spain to spend a season at the legendary elBulli under the direction of Ferran Adrià. In 2012, he joined two fellow elBulli alumni to open 81 Restaurant in Tokyo where seasonal Japanese ingredients are integrated into Latin American cuisine. It was awarded its first Michelin star in December 2013. In 2015 Francisco become Executive Chef of the renowned NAPA wine bar and kitchen in Shanghai and at the same time he was selected to be the representative Chef for ProChile in 2015 Asia tour.
Julio started cooking when he was 14 years old with some friends and his brother. The objective was clear … cooking for fun! And with this first step he discovered his passion and decided to study his career in the best Culinary Institute in Mexico, his hometown.
He started working in different restaurants in Mexico City and Cancun, specialized in contemporary Mexican and Spanish cuisine, while collaborating time to time in events with renowned Michelin starred chefs.
The same effort and passion was the one who brought Julio to Shanghai, with the aim at improving his skills as a chef and to continue to develop his love for the kitchen.
After 18 months as a Sous-Chef at “EL WILLY” Happy Spanish Restaurant on the Bund, Julio has been appointed as Chef de Cuisine at TOMATITO Sexy Tapas Bar.
With Julio leading the team at the kitchen of TOMATITO, Shanghai patrons can expect marvels coming from his tapas creations which know no borders or origins in these days!.
Julio strongly believe that the food is not just for eat, it’s memories, laughs, good moments and the most important, food is life…
Aitor Olabegoya was born in Barcelona on May 3rd 1980. He graduated on 1999 as Number one of his promotion at the Cooking official School of Vitoria and followed a serial of workshops and stages to complete his career.
By that time, he was honored as Absolut Winner in the national competition for young chefs in Zaragoza, to later on, enhance knowledge and skills beside the great masters such as Carme Ruscalleda (Sant Pau), Ferran Adria (El Bulli), May Hofmann (Hofmann), Toni Botella and other star Michelin chefs.
His professional career has developed in the kitchens of prestigious restaurants. He was the Chef at Arola's Ritz-Carlton Hotel Arts in Barcelona and also at the NH Palacio de la Merced in Burgos. He currently manages his own restaurant in Barcelona, Peixample Restaurant, usual meeting point for Barcelona's society and lovers of good food.
Innovative creator of a new concept in catering and successful businessman, acting as speaker for several gastronomic congresses, collaborates with ICEX and other entities in the dissemination of the Spanish cuisine and is a regular contributor in the media.
Aitor Olabegoya is a Chef with international projection and a faithful representative of the new generation of Spanish Chefs, together with those already established, have brought Spanish cuisine to the forefront of world cuisine.
His non conformity and passion for the world of gastronomy have made him the way to get here. And what we are stilt to see…
Coming directly from Madrid, is the maniacal culinary scientist behind Shanghai’s hottest Tapas restaurant. Wiry, wild-bearded and covered in ink, who was also highly involved in bakery working together with the two-Michelin-starred Spanish chef Paco Roncero in Madrid as well as 1 Michelin star Chef Albert Raurich in Barcelona. Alvaro has been working more than 3 years together with Guillermo Trullás creating a menu featuring traditional tapas from all over Spain.
Well-known for its versatility in numerous cooking methods from smoking, baking to grilling and more, allowing diners to experience that extra special boost of smoky aromatic flavor derived from the ingredients, combined with perfect texture, moisture and juiciness. Jose now works for one of the best Spanish restaurants in Shanghai featuring a wide array of traditional and contemporary tapas, signature dishes including various authentically cooked paellas and juicy rices, and an amazing selection of Spanish ‘Josper’ oven prepared dishes.
Graduated from Cordon Bleu in gastronomy and culinary arts in the year 2007, he started his career in a French restaurant under the tutoring of the Michellin-starred Chef Herve Galildie. After getting some experience in Herve restaurant he moved to WALLQA restaurant focused on Peruvian modern cuisine. In 2010 Hugo was selected out of 25 chefs to come to Shanghai for the world expo in the Peruvian pavilion that gave him the chance to moved to Casa 13 and Azul by Eduardo Vargas.
In 2012 he moved to Bistro Burger and Coffee Tree café for the next two years. Nowadays he is working at CHALA TAPAS & BAR as executive chef working on Peruvian style tapas and ceviches bringing to shanghai the authentic Peruvian cuisine.
Art & Performances
Kathryn Robbins is a 31 year old Bodypainter and Makeup Artist. She is the head of the performers and body art and has been one of the brains behind the concept from the very first Pop Secret. Originally from England, she has been living in Shanghai for 3 years. We first saw Kathryn as the creative director of Cirque Le soir, a renowned Circus club on the Bund, where she designed all the costumes and characters. Now she is a freelance artist and works in fashion, theatre, film and beauty. She is extremely passionate about what she does and her art is now very well known in the city.
Mandy Embers is an American Fire and Glow performer from Miami, Florida who has been setting the world ablaze for over ten years. She has performed at various events including large scale music festivals, nightclubs, private parties, burlesque shows, weddings, society galas, theater plays, and everything in between. Her talents include fire eating, hula hoop, poi, staff, fans, dragon staff, double hoops, double staffs, and more. Although she's currently based in Shanghai, she's available for both domestic and international gigs. For bookings, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or wechat ID: mandyerin.
KE▽iN M△X!M is a professional entertainer and creative from the United States of America and has worked with a number of American celebrities, like Grammy Award winners Mya ("Lady Marmalade"), Eshe of hip hop group Arrested Development ("People Everyday", "Tennessee"), and Bobby McFerrin ("Don't Worry, Be Happy"), Grammy Award nominees Angie Stone ("Wish I Didn't Miss You") and Mario ("Let Me Love You"), NAACP Image Award winner Omari Hardwick (Being Mary Jane), and choreographer/producer Travis Payne (Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson) on projects for radio, television, and theatre. He has also cooperated with international brands like Gap, BananaRepublic, The Grammy Foundation, Nike, Huawei, and Tiffany & Co.
KE▽iN M△X!M's contribution to the entertainment industry has not gone unrecognized. He won Downbeat Magazine Awards in 2003 and 2004 with his group Afro Blue. 2005 and 2006 followed up well with wins at the Washington Area Music Awards with his group Reverb. In 2009, KE▽iN M△X!M not only reached #1 on Mp3.com.au for his collaboration with jazz artist Kenny Wesley on the song “All An Illusion”, but he won an award from Velocity Magazine for "Best Alternative Artist". He was a semi-finalist on Essence's R&B Star competition and the winner of Emmy Award winner Steve Harvey's New Star Project.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and later a ten-year resident of Washington, DC, KE▽iN M△X!M is currently based in Shanghai, China, and has performed at some of her most prestigious venues, including the The Pearl, Sennheiser Shanghai Concert Hall, Mercedes-Benz Arena, and Shanghai's 星尚 Channel for their New Year's Eve 2015 special. He is an award-winning recording artist; published songwriter, vocal producer, and vocal arranger; and vocal coach and actor.
Rolento is a professional photographer from singapore based in shanghai since 2004. He specializes in fashion, architecture and interior photography.
He finds time to do his personal photo series and his own short films. He is also the founder of shanghai photography conference, shanghai international designer platform.
His website: www.rolento.com
Luciano was born in Long Island, New York. Since an early age he had an obsession with capturing things on camera. After studying and living in China for a few years, he decided Shanghai was the place to be for creative minds.
Emma Badia grew up in North Carolina and currently works in Shanghai as an advertising illustrator and storyboarder. Her personal artwork primarily revolves around fantasy and psychedelic themes, with a bit of Asian influence mixed in.
Leo circus is a Brazilian artist specializing in circus performances. acrobatics, shows with fire show with LEDs, aerial shows and performances for children are part of his repertoire.
Leo is in China since 2010, Leo is working in TV channels, theaters, events and nightclubs.
Leo is a graduate of the National School Brazil Circus since 2002.
Lulu Ye, Singer/Dancer. Creative, Driven, Versatile.
"Art, music, and dance have enriched my life. I am extremely grateful for all three of them. They inspire and enable me to create the things I am passionate about. I feel very blessed to be able to work with and across them every day of my life. "
A dancer and cabaret singer by trade, specializing in vernacular jazz and Lindy Hop swing dance. She is highly renowned and lauded for her unequaled flair, unique style and unrivaled talent. This original Shanghai rose, left her hometown and brought her energy to Beijing to entertain club goers and diners at numerous Beijing venues both large and small.
Lulu's unique interests saw her get involved in projects that showed all facets of her talents. She co-founded Beijing’s first cabaret troupe - Moonglow Burlesque; she played ukulele and sang in a three-part vocal harmony band called The Confectionaries, and she produced, directed and starred in her own series of variety shows under the stage name "Miss Lulu Galore".
Lulu relocated back to Shanghai in October 2015. Since then she has hit the ground running, teaching, promoting swing dance culture and producing, directing new shows. She is most at ease in front of any size audience or in any venue entertaining, dancing and singing. Her varied musical talents allow her to collaborate with a wide range of local and international artists across many styles and genres to present alluring, creative and most of all fun music and dance projects.
Part cheese-foot and all glutton-belly, Stephan is the product of a northern Canadian farm plus its neighboring farm when the farm children hooked up; what with the selection of mates being problematic in such an underpopulated part of the world and all.
Long believing he was living inside a video game, Stephan spent much of his life communicating in 8-bit sound effects −a practice which soon found him "discovered" by Hollywood north´s top talent agency and appearing in bit parts on TV as "that guy" −employment that would serve as great cover while he worked covertly for [information redacted] and acting as the Prime Minister's wife's surrogate lover and Canada's Chief Ham Spanker −which in terms of Crown appointments put him just below Governor General −a serious honor in Canada.
Soon enough, Canada found itself existentially threatened by a can of rigatoni which Stephan alone understood to be a communication device controlled by aliens with the ability to control Tom Cruise who controls others with questionable spiritual beliefs.
Employing his mastery of 8-bit video game sound effects, Stephan was able to convince the aliens that they had, in fact, sent the canned rigatoni to the wrong address. They subsequently sent the device to another galaxy where it promptly formed a dual black hole system and collapsed in on itself annihiliating all matter within the region of approximately a cubic light year−−an event recently detected by earth's LIGO detector and several of Stephan's unicorn kin, not to mention Tom Cruise.
Though he saved earth, Stephan did serve jail time for denying Canada its beloved canned rigatoni, but it was widely understood that the move was political because he just wasn't spanking Canada's ham good enough and the Prime Minister's wife was displeased. Currently free from incarceration and ham-free, Stephan also shoots and edits video, but purely by accident.
Client list: my mom, my friends, and some Fortune 500 companies.
Carole Schnitzer is a New York raised Shanghai-based eclectic artist who uses various mediums for her artwork. Her most recent project focuses on the daily grind of passengers in the metro.
Living and working in Shanghai. Carole has had to rely on visual clues in order to understand her surroundings. In the metro, she discovered a fascinating dichotomy; in a small space wherein each person struggles for their spot, there is also a bizarre connection that bongs all of these individuals together, traveling forward together, through time and space. These people simultaneously blend into the background, like scenery, whilst also fighting, as individuals, to be recognized in the midst of the masses. For this project, Carole uses business cards as a tangible and yet insignificant representation of a human being. The faces portrayed usually have their eyes closed, as if they are trying to create an inner world of peace amidst the chaos surrounding them.
Molemen are a six-piece ska and reggae band based in Shanghai. Formed after a substantial subterranean drinking session in late 2014, Molemen use a variety instrumentation - bass, drums, a trombone and three ukuleles - to create quick tempo rhythms and melodies with soft and hard edges. Always danceable, Molemen perform only original music in the spirit of fashioning the so-called ska ‘fourth wave’. And with song subject matter ranging from handbags, losing internal battles with oneself, to trips down the pub and the state of the advertising industry, no conceptual stone is left unturned. In addition to the raging horn sections, walking basslines and furious ukulele skanking, theatrical elements feature heavily at any Molemen show. Expect odd regalia, unexpected harmonious deviations, sudden stops & starts and spoken word interludes. Although a fairly recent addition to the China live music scene, Molemen have already formed a fearsome reputation as one of the wildest live bands in Shanghai.
“The Molemen cometh……. And the Molemen taketh away,” anonymous.
OJ Ryan – Drums, backing vocals
Rob Ellis – Ukulele, lead and backing vocals
Johnny Haru – Lead Ukulele, lead and backing vocals
George Wyndham – Ukulele, lead and backing vocals,
Nick Muzyczka – Bass
Kyle Bagley – Trombone
Musab Hameed is Engineer by Degree, Lecturer by Profession, Artist at Heart.
Art work revolves around themes such as love, dance and romance.
Scarlett Spitfire is a visual artist, VJ and burlesque performer from the UK.
As a member of Qi-Pow Burlesque and Cabaret Revue she has performed many times in both large and small venues, using a mixture of classic and contemporary burlesque and cabaret dance.
Scarlett's VJ credits include a wide variety of projects for both corporate and creative clients. For live video performances she works a lot with music venues and festivals, and has played with many internationally acclaimed DJs and musicians.
Johnathan Wilson is a Native Louisiana painter that is always trying to perfect his craft. Dealing primarily in mural painting, Wilson always thinks that bigger is better. His interests include using Eastern Asian mythology and Folklore from his Home of Louisiana. Wilson takes his interests and mixes them with his own visual style to create his work.
BUSMAN 4.0 known in Shanghai, China under the moniker Uniquesoul. American Native, born in DC, raised in PG Maryland and graduate of Bachelors and Masters Degree art and enteetainment business. While living in Columbus, Ohio, Uniquesoul perfected his artistry for a decade, created a family and took his family to China to teach and expand his musical talents globally. Since being in China, Uniquesoul has made a polished name for himself and is highly recognized as a talented singer, songwriter, lyricist, artist, promoter, event planner and now fashion designer. In 2016 Mr. Soul will drop two albums. STAY TUNED FOR WHAT'S NEXT FOR UNIQUESOUL AKA BUSMAN 4.0 of ART&POETICSOUL.
Anita Muzi, was born in Shanghai, China, is a female freelance photographer. She believes the mentality is more important than the age for photography.She could fully enjoy the process of photographing, but not always consider her shooting works seriously. In addition to shooting, she is also fond of walking everywhere for gaining her inspiration. Many ideas come from her everyday life. She thinks of the photography is a part of her life, and would like to continually do it.