Meet our Head Judges

Chef Ken Wang

Chef Ken Wang is a renowned Chinese cuisine chef with more than 20 years’ experience in China and Britain. 

He achieved the prestigious Chinese Master Chef's, Top Grade 3 Certification in 2005 

Currently, he is the Executive Chef at the multi-award winning Chinese Cricket Club in the heart of London.  

His accolades include the AA Rosette Award and the Diner's Choice Award.

Chef Ken Wang is also the Founder of Gourmet Chinese Chef Ltd, a platform where Chinese culture, cuisine and activities are promoted across the UK.

He regularly hosts Master Classes to teach food fans about Chinese cuisine, as well as providing support in the form of training and menu advice to upcoming Asian restaurants.

Chef Ken Wang’s speciality is Huaiyang cuisine, considered to be one of the four Great Traditions that dominate China’s culinary heritage. The cuisine is often used for official Chinese state occasions. 

Shu Han Lee

Born and raised in Singapore, Shu Han Lee is a creative strategist and freelance food stylist, writer and cook based in London. 

The Sunday Times named her as one of Britain's best food bloggers, 

Shu also develops recipes and writes about/ photographs delicious things for various food companies, platforms and publications, including: The Japan Centre, Kikkoman and Great British Chefs. 

You can find Shu cooking up a storm at various pop-up venues, supper clubs and workshops. 

Chicken and Rice (Fig Tree, Penguin Books) is her first cookbook, which combines the best of Southeast Asian with British seasonal ingredients.

Jason Li

Having worked in the culinary world for nearly 20 years, Jason is no stranger to the Chinese food industry. 


Jason has worked with some of the world's most recognised chefs and is highly trained in the kitchen too, having cooked in prestigious establishments such as Hakkasan, Min Jiang and the Dorchester.  

He is now Assistant Director of Sales at the London Ritz and regularly travels to China to train the next generation of Master Chefs. 

In his spare time, Jason hosts regular Private Dining events and is internationally hailed as a true authority in the Chinese food industry.

Merlene Emerson MBE

A former City Solicitor and partner of a law firm in Singapore, Merlene retrained as a CEDR accredited Mediator and a Restorative Justice Practitioner.    

She currently divides her time between politics and philanthropy, is Chair of Lien Viet Housing Association, Director of Islington & Shoreditch Housing Association, Co-Chair of Chinese Welfare Trust and Trustee of Sir Heinz Koeppler Trust.    

Merlene was a former judge of Mulan Awards, on the executive team of ASEAN UK Forum, a Liveryman at The Worshipful Company of World Traders and a Freeman of the City of London.   She stood for the London Assembly for the Liberal Democrats in 2012 and 2016, is Vice-Chair of the Federal International Relations Committee and is keen to promote trade and inward investments into the UK.    

She also holds a teaching diploma with the British Wheel of Yoga and believes in healthy living and a balanced lifestyle.  She was awarded an MBE in the Queens 90th Birthday honours for politics and public service.