Broad per­spec­tive gives drive to suc­ceed

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Not ev­ery­one can say they’ve cooked for the pres­i­dent of the United States, but Anthony Hoy Fong can.

The Chi­nese New Zealan­der started his ca­reer as an IBM con­sul­tant in Welling­ton but gave up cor­po­rate life to start a Fruit World fran­chise with his par­ents in Sil­verdale.

Hoy Fong moved to New York to study a nine-month pro­gramme at the French Culi­nary In­sti­tute a few years later.

‘‘It was like a dream come true to be on the path to be­com­ing a chef and do­ing it in New York City,’’ he says.

‘‘I was on top of the world. I didn’t think about what was go­ing to stop me. I just went af­ter it.’’

That same at­ti­tude saw him land a job with his per­sonal hero, chef Daniel Boulud, and his ca­reer sky­rock­eted.

He’s worked for some of New York’s best chefs; been a chef con­sul­tant for the West Wing of the White House and helped open eight restaurants United States.

He puts his suc­cess down to his un­usual per­spec­tive.

‘‘Grow­ing up in New Zealand and be­ing Chi­nese al­lows me to see things dif­fer­ently to oth­ers.’’

The 36-year-old says there were only a cou­ple of other Asians in his school class in Mt Roskill dur­ing the 1980s.

It was the same when the fam­ily moved to Ep­som so the chil­dren could at­tend the gram­mar schools.

But he al­ways felt com­fort­able liv­ing be­tween two cul­tures. ‘‘We held on to all the Chi­nese cus­toms and cel­e­brated all the Chi­nese hol­i­days in our house­hold but we were third gen­er­a­tion Ki­wis. We had the best of both worlds.’’

Food was al­ways a big part of fam­ily gath­er­ings.

‘‘Ev­ery­one loved cook­ing to­gether and I was sur­rounded by re­ally good food. I used to love to get in there, try ev­ery­thing and change stuff. I knew one day I would be able to be a chef.’’

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