SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Mr Leo Pang

Combined Degree - B. Business-B.A. International Studies (University of Tehcnology, Sydney, 2003), Grad Dip. Gastronomy (University of Adelaide), M.A. Anthropology (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2010), MPhil Anthropology (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2012)


Leo Pang
Mr Leo Pang
Email address:
Thesis title:
An Ethnographic Study of Ecological Food Entrepreneurs in China (Working Title).
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


I am a PhD candidate in the deparment of Anthropology at SOAS. My PhD thesis deals with ecological food entrepreneurs in Shanghai. My research interests are food and foodways, sustainable food systems, food history, cuisine, authenticity and globalisation. In 2003 I graduated with a combined Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Technology, Sydney. I also have a Graduate Diploma in Gastronomy from the University of Adelaide and Cordon Bleu, awarded in 2009. In 2010 I completed an MA in Anthropology followed by an MPhil in Anthropology in 2012, both at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. My MPhil thesis Beyond Cantonese Cuisine: Chinese Migrants and Chinese Restaurants in Sydney shows how Chinese cuisine in Sydney has changed from being predominantly Cantonese to including other regional cuisines in China such as Northern, Shanghainese and Sichuan cuisines.

PhD Research

My PhD research examines ecological food entrepreneurs, as they can be part of the solution to the problems of food safety and, environmental degradation and pollution in China by producing food that is safe for consumption in a way that minimises harm to the environment. I use the term "ecological" instead of "organic," as the former is more widely used in popular discourse to refer to food that is grown without the use of industrial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. The term "entrepreneur" can include farmers who could be growing for themselves or as part of a village enterprise or for an NGO, founders of NGOs, as well as people who own ecological food businesses such as restaurants and/or supermarkets.
    In order to gain an understanding of these ecological food entrepreneurs, I ask the following research questions -- emphasising their enterprises from conception to production through to marketing: Where do ecological food entrepreneurs get their inspiration and knowledge from? What challenges to do ecological food entrepreneurs face and what strategies do they use to overcome these challenges? A deeper understanding of the experiences of ecological food entrepreneurs will illustrate the extent to which they are changing the food system in China, whether their practices are inspired by local ideas or by international ecological movements, and whether these changes are positive or negative.


  • Forthcoming. "Repackaging Chinese Cuisine: The Professionalisation of Chinese Restaurants in Sydney". The Journal of Chinese Dietary Culture.
  • 2013. "Negotiating Multiple Authenticities: A Study of Regional Chinese Restaurants in Sydney". Acta Iassyensia Comparationis - Food and Drink Cultural Ways, 11: 97-104.


  • Paper Presentation Jun 9 2014 - “Cheap and Cheerful, Hip and Stylish: Different meanings of Chinese Food in Sydney” Navigating Foodways: Questions and Dilemmas in Thinking Through/With Food, 2014 SOAS Food Studies Centre Postgraduate Research Workshop


  • SOAS Food Studies Centre
  • Hong Kong Anthropological Society