New Year, New Goals

When late nights, booze and midnight dinners are part of your daily routine, resolutions can be difficult to keep. Working in the hospitality industry has its indulgences, which can mean that the first few days of January come with some necessary resets. A week into the New Year and in a world of wellness and intention-setting, we asked our team what it is they are focusing on in 2020.


Jowett Yu, Head Chef, Ho Lee Fook 

My son, Otto, is starting to move around and talk a lot more and I have made it my aim to try and teach him as much as possible while he is still so young and can easily to adapt to new things. Kids are like sponges, right? Taking in everything around them means, as parents, we have a role to play in what and how they learn. He already as some random words in other languages, so I want to incorporate more of that into his learning, specifically Italian and Mandarin. He also loves transport, so I plan to teach him more by playing games with cars and trains to make sure he is having fun while he learns!


Palash Mitra, Culinary Director for South Asian Cuisine, New Punjab Club

Although I do not usually set resolutions, I have made a conscious decision to spend more time this year doing what I can to help those that do not have a voice of their own. If anyone knows me, they know that I am exceptionally passionate about animals, and my dogs are like children to me. I want to use what resources I have to help improve the treatment of animals and ensure that I am playing my part in leaving the world a little better off than before. 


Marc Hofmann, Operations Director, Wan Chai, Black Sheep Restaurants

2020 is my year of learning. I have been fortunate to have grown through the opportunities I have been given over the last few years, but I believe that the learning never stops. I want to keep training myself in areas I am good at, to be better but also to learn new skills. I feel confident in my foundational knowledge, so now is the time to gain ground and fine-tune. On a personal note, I also want to give more time to the people who support me every day. Life is too short not to share your love.


Margaux Lacipiere, Restaurant Manager, Fukuro

I want to become more familiar with the dining cultures of Japan, Shanghai and Singapore and the bar scene in Tokyo! I want to bring new skills and innovative techniques and ingredients back to what we are already doing at Fukuro. My love for travelling and my curiosity for these places has always been there so I have decided, once and for all, that 2020 is the year to explore them. I actually have a low-key vision of writing an Asian capital cities travel guide that focuses on where to eat. I have said this for a few years now, maybe this will finally hold me accountable! In the meantime, I am focusing on studying for my Level Three WSET so fingers crossed I get to tick that one off the resolutions for the year. 


John Nguyen, Head Chef, Chôm Chôm

For the new decade, I want to expand my culinary horizons. Of course, there is the usual New Year goal of being healthier, eating cleaner food and cooking a lot more. But now that I am settled in Hong Kong, I really want to spend 2020 travelling more throughout Asia, learning about all the different cuisines in the region, seeking inspiration for me to try new things and, hopefully, encourage me to make more unique dishes. Hong Kong itself has such a dynamic culinary landscape, but as a launchpad for Asia, it gives me access to so many dining cultures that I am excited to dive further into.


Declan Doran, Chief Financial Officer, Black Sheep Restaurants

Christopher Mark is always telling me I need to read more, so this one is for him. I have vowed to read more books this year, but living in such a frenetic fast-paced city can pose a challenge to finding the time and space. I recently got into audiobooks, listening to them while commuting or going for a walk and I figure they count just the same. They are a great way to relax and escape the hustle of the city and that space gets my creative juices flowing for new ideas. Yes, even numbers guys can get creative!


Arnaud Bardary, Group Sommelier, BELON

This year, I want to learn to focus on one task wholeheartedly, ensuring it is accomplished to the highest standards. Improving my focus comes with several changes, from physical steps like incorporating more exercise and hobbies, healthier eating habits and drinking more water, to more creative endeavours – I enjoy drawing and painting – and spending less time glued to my phone. Balance is key for me in 2020. Taking time to reflect and be still is something I want to try and usher into my daily routine, focusing on what I have to be grateful for. Oh, and backing up my computer more often!


Theign Yie Phan, Head Chef, Le Garçon Saigon

I often come into work on my days off, so when I asked my team what my New Year resolution should be they immediately offered the same advice: to find a husband! Apparently, they think I need other commitments in my life. If you ask me, I much prefer my resolution of travelling more often, especially to Vietnam to further develop my knowledge of Saigonese flavours and cooking techniques.   


Lisette Magampon, Head Chef,  Osteria Marzia 

I have set out several goals for this year, all interconnected. I believe that through achieving one, it will enable me to achieve another. First, I want to open my mind, which I think will help me spread positivity, be more creative and take more chances. I also want to put 100 per cent effort into everything I do, whether it be working harder in the kitchen or simply making sure I enjoy every little detail of this beautiful city, remembering to take time to breathe and embrace everything it has to offer! 


Bikal Ghale, Bar Manager, Buenos Aires Polo Club 

Trust, Visualisation, Leadership. Three pillars I am building up in 2020. Trust is my priority – I want to set the right example for my team. Trust, especially when you are working on the floor, is so important to our overall success. Visualising my goals motivates me to move forward with them, making me more determined to reach where I want to be and helping me to align myself with a positive mindset. And leadership. Leadership amongst the younger team members especially. I have definitely made mistakes on this journey which I have chosen to take as lessons, lessons I want to share with others to make us stronger, collectively. 

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