In a city that is a magnet for all manner of international chefs, it’s sometimes easy to forget about our home-grown talent. Not this year. Our inaugural Local Champion award is all about celebrating those who have made a real contribution to promoting Hong Kong’s unique food culture.
Since opening her own restaurant three years ago, chef May Chow has evolved at a rapid pace. Her tiny 20-seater Little Bao in Soho was a revelation, bringing tongue-incheek twists to Asian plates in a fresh and approachable manner. In the past year, she has gone abroad, representing Hong Kong on the international stage at leading food festivals, including Omnivore in Paris and Shanghai, the prestigious Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in Australia and, just this summer, the Bordeaux Wine Festival, where she presented her whimsical take on typhoon shelter crab—a true Hong Kong classic. In July, she opened a branch of Little Bao in Bangkok; the following month, she partnered with Chris Wong and James Ling of The Ale Project and Rohit Dugar of Young Master Ales to open Second Draft, a neighbourhood “Chinese gastropub” in Tai Hang—and winner of this year's Best New Restaurant as voted by our readers.
Here, Chow has been working hard at bringing the spotlight back to Hong Kong’s culinary roots: by adding dried oysters to squid croquettes, say, or championing the fragrant local “three-yellow” chicken, which she insists is unparalleled in quality.
“We want to use a lot of local ingredients to integrate into these classic gastropub dishes, with a fun take on local food,” Chow once told us. With all she has achieved in such a short amount of time, we can’t wait to see how this talented young chef continues to interpret all our city has to offer in the years to come.