Attracted by the artistic and physical elements of cooking, Swiss-born Chef Marcel was drawn to the culinary industry at the young age of 15. Just after his apprenticeship and initial years of honing his skills in top kitchens in Switzerland, he ventured out to sail the oceans as a first cook on luxury cruise liners. The next port of call was Durban, South Africa, where he worked land based. He then went on to Shanghai, New York, Colorado, Kuala Lumpur, Guangzhou and now, Shanghai. The extensive travels have made his world a smaller place. Chef loves the way food has become a global trend and a communication tool across cultures – he sees culinary as a subjective art, never boring, never the same.
"Tea drinking culture in the western world has evolved and globalized tremendously over recent years. Tealeaves is on the pulse of happenings and very quality driven; my cup of tea!"
Marcel Kofler comes to Shanghai following a long history with the hotel group Mandarin Oriental. Before his position as the Food & Beverage Director at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai, he oversaw culinary creations at Mandarin Oriental Guangzhou as the Executive Chef and before that, he shared his culinary talents with the guests at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur where he developed a liking for the exotic Durian, the king of fruits!
Tea in China is celebrated as a way of life; Tea is more than just a beverage. Appreciation of tradition in preparation and working with tea is instrumental, requiring in-depth knowledge about the little nuances which affect the tea drinking experience. With Tealeaves, Chef Marcel believes to have a sparring partner to work with and influence the tea drinking culture in five star hotels. His favorites and collectibles are Pu’er varieties, but also the seasonal Longjing and Tieguanyin teas.