Date:
Lunch, Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Speaker Series:
CHRISTOPHER MARK & SYED ASIM HUSSAIN, Co-Founders of Black Sheep Restaurants, Hong Kong

Topic:
From Black Sheep to Leader of the Herd: 
Zigging Where Others Zag: How Innovation, Community and a Commitment to Accessible Cuisine Have Created the Most-Talked About Restaurant Group in Hong Kong

Time:
12:00 Registration & Lunch
12:30 Remarks, followed by Q&A
14:00 Close & Post-Event Interaction
 
Place:
New Punjab Club
34 Wyndham Street, Central
(NB: the entire restaurant – an intimate 36+ capacity venue – will be closed for our exclusive event)

Cost & Registration:
To register, please go online and CLICK HERE to RSVP and PAY NOW.

Prepaid Online Early Bird Credit Card/PayPal Registration: HKD 650 (if paid online by midnight, Monday, 12 November). Cash Pre-Registration or Late Bird Online Pre-Payment or Walk-Ins: HKD 800. Only Exact Cash Payment accepted at the Door (whether Cash Pre-Registration or Walk-In). No change provided and no credit cards/checks accepted. No refunds for no-shows or post-payment cancellations

Early Bird pre-paid registration is strongly encouraged. Questions/problems? Contact Chapter VPs, Alice Chow/Beatrice Wong at vp@stanfordgsbhk.org.

Menu: Please see Click Here

Guests/Walk-Ins: Guests permitted

Speaker's Bio
See below

Event Details:

The Stanford GSB Chapter of Hong Kong is pleased to invite you a special lunch with Christopher Mark & Syed Asim Hussain, Co-Founders of Black Sheep Restaurants, the dining empire behind some of the city’s most popular tables, including Ho Lee Fook, Carbone, Belon, Fukuro, Chôm Chôm, and New Punjab Club. Few other groups have as many successful “must go” restaurants as Black Sheep Restaurants across so many cuisine formats (French, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Lebanese and Thai).

Starting out in 2012 with a single restaurant (Boqueria, the only restaurant they ever needed to re-concept), Christopher and Asim have broken the rules of HK restaurants – zigging where others zagged, going to “tired Soho, unexciting Wanchai” as their initial “home base”, catalyzing these neighborhoods’ revitalization, and creating economies of scale realizing geographic concentration benefits others have overlooked. And, despite being criticized by the HK press as “Beavis and Butt-Head”, daring to open “yet another Chinese restaurant”, Soho’s Ho Lee Fook, in what has now become one of Asia’s the most-sought after tables, frequented by Hollywood stars and locals alike, defying the critics and the popular consensus, alike.

Today, with almost 1000 on the team, Black Sheep Restaurants has become HK’s “it restaurant group”. In six short years, three of their restaurants feature on the 2018 Conde Nast best 32 HK restaurants list; four on Time Out’s 52 best HK restaurants list; and Belon making the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list. Rather than Michelin-stars, they seek to create and showcase accessible, approachable food under-represented in Hong Kong of great quality and compelling environments. In addition to launching niche, innovative restaurant concepts, BSR also started its own perks programme (“The Herd”), delivery app (“Black Sheep Restaurants GO”), and opened its first restaurant outside of Hong Kong (Canton Disco in Shanghai) this year.

How have Asim and Chris done it?  Where and how do they seek out their new restaurant concepts? What inspired them to start a table-service restaurant group in one of the most competitive and expensive real estate markets on earth, beating the landlords who, famously, are often “the only winners” in HK’s restaurant industry? How do they keep a restaurant portfolio fresh in one of the most demanding foodie markets on earth? How do they achieve record-breaking low-turnover in one of the most fickle labor markets anywhere? Why do some neighborhoods in HK “make the Black Sheep grade” and others don’t? How is their planned global expansion going to emulate or differ from their Hong Kong success story?

We are honored to hear from Chris & Asim at one of their most beloved venues, New Punjab Club, and to learn about their entrepreneurial story - how commitment to innovation, community, and founding values have cultivated the city’s most loyal diners and staff – as well as their exciting plans to become the next world-class hospitality name from Hong Kong.

Speaker's Bio: 
Christopher Mark, Co-Founder
A veteran of the hospitality industry, Christopher Mark brings his expertise as a chef and restaurant developer to Black Sheep Restaurants. Originally from Toronto, Canada, andhalf Chinese, half Italian, Chris developed his culinary skills cooking in exciting places such as Barbados, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo. 

Prior to co-founding Black Sheep Restaurants, Chris was the executive chef at Dining Concepts where he opened many popular restaurants in Hong Kong, including Bistecca and Tango Argentina. An active member of Hong Kong’s culinary community, Chris was elected the secretary for Disciples Escoffier of the Hong Kong Branch for the 2011 – 2012 year and contributes to philanthropic organisations like St. Christopher’s home, where he gives cooking lessons and provides recipes to children from underprivileged backgrounds.

Syed Asim Hussain, Co-Founder 
Syed Asim Hussain co-founded Black Sheep Restaurants in 2012, with the goal of creating a dynamic community and enriching team culture while telling compelling stories through food. 

One of the most prolific innovators at the forefront of Hong Kong’s ever-evolving culinary scene, Asim grew up in his father’s Hong Kong restaurants during summers home from schooling in Pakistan and developed a love affair with the storytelling and hospitality of the restaurant industry.  

Asim holds a dual bachelor’s degree in finance and international relations from Carnegie Mellon University and previously worked at leading brokerage house BNY ConvergEX in New York City. He is passionate about all things Pakistan, including poetry, politics and cricket. He is a board member and the Hong Kong founding member of CARE Pakistan, a non-profit providing quality and marketable education for Pakistan’s youth.