In the fall of 2022, we tapped Stoke to make a dinner for us in Berlin when we launched Domaine VSN at Voo Store. Run by Jeffrey Claudio, Jessica Tan and Niklas Harmsen, it is set to open in late 2023. With experience from having worked in some of the best restaurants in the world, Jeff is in charge of the food and concept, while Jessica runs operations and FoH. We caught up with the two for a brief chat while they were preparing our dinner (check out the recipe for one of the delicious dishes we had that night!).
Jonathan Soriano: What is Stoke?
Jessica Tan: Stoke is an upcoming yakitori and wood-fire restaurant in Kreuzberg, Berlin.
JS: How did this constellation come about with you, Jeff & Nik?
JT: I met Jeff in Sydney through mutual friends in 2015 and found out that our mums are from the same village in the Philippines. So, we might be related. And I met Nik through working in restaurants in Copenhagen.
JS: What are your respective roles in this constellation?
JT: Nik is the CEO, Jeff is the chef and Creative Director and I (Jessica) am responsible for FOH, beverages & operations.
JS: Why Berlin?
JT: Berlin is still relatively untapped for new ideas, and we believe there’s a space to do fun concepts.
JS: I was given these awesome stickers of a brown paper bag with the lettering B.A.G. Please explain to our readers what that is about?
JT: It was a joke at first; our friend Martin Ho from Pompette in Copenhagen called us the “Brown Asian Gang”. Then it stuck and that is now the official name of our legal company B.A.G GmbH!
JS: How much do your backgrounds influence the concept? Being of Filipino and growing up in Canada and Australia?
JT: Growing up in Canada and Australia has influenced us; growing up with different cultures developed our palette for all things tasty and being Filipino gives us a side of having a laugh; not taking things too seriously.
JS: Can’t help to bring up the elephant in the room…it has taken some time to open Stoke – why and when can we expect to be able to book a table?
JT: Well, good things take time. Unfortunately, we’ve had several issues with our site which has caused the delay. We hope to open by fall 2023.
JS: Jessica, what do you miss in Australia that you can’t have here?
JT: My family, Tan Viet restaurant feat. crispy chicken w/ egg Noodle soup, and the beach!
JS: And Jeff, what do you miss in Canada?
Jeff Claudio: I miss the Cantonese food and diversity in how authentic and delicious it is, Canadians are among the friendliest but most of all I miss my family.