Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. In our new 27 Questions column, we get up close and personal with notable Hong Kong personalities, learning about their whims and aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes and dreams — all found out in roughly the same time it takes to have a 2-minute speed date.
For our inaugural 27 Questions interview, we’re chatting with May Chow, the restaurateur behind Little Bao, Happy Paradise and recently opened Little Bao Diner; winner of Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017; and a food-scene darling who’s revered as much for her East-meets-West cooking as she is for her down-to-earth attitude to creative cuisine.
Name: May Chow
Neighbourhood: Happy Valley
Try everything at least three times.
Howard’s Gourmet: The highlights of the meal were a crispy-skinned sea cucumber — glazed with an incredible stock, a poached whelk dish, and an exquisite ginger scallion crab claw.
L.A. chef and world-renowned baker, Nancy Silverton. She’s a passionate person that pursues happiness, she knows how to nourish her mind and self; she has a continuous pursuit of food excellence. She’s a pioneer on multiple fronts, in all aspects of food: from mentoring young talent to opening multiple businesses as well as setting new standards without ever selling out on her happiness or originality.
Collating paper at my uncle’s printing company in the summer… Basically child labor, ha!
Wine. I don’t need fancy brands but I love finding small producers who demonstrate clear passion in the glass. My recent favourites are Pinots from a small winery in Victoria and natural producers from Austria and Slovenia.
In Los Angeles, eight years ago.
My rooftop, where I can host barbecues with an incredible view of the racecourse.
Not taking studies or work seriously until much later in life.
Copenhagen. The restaurant scene there is amazing and I love Scandinavian design as well. I will probably go during the MAD symposium event next year.
Once or twice a week — I make simple pastas or some Chinese comfort foods.
When it all starts going downhill. It’s hard to always be on top of the game. I always fear that what I do is not good enough so I strive to constantly learn, change and evolve.
A few months ago to see the Hong Kong Ballet!
Watching Netflix for hours on end.
Dogs. Cycling. Eating whatever I want.
My high school years. I really wish I took academics more seriously and had actual goals to go to Harvard, for instance, or the Culinary Institute of America.
Los Angeles. I love the balance: where Los Angeles is so international and has so much to offer but at the same time also has the beautiful Californian weather and retains a high quality standard of living.
When you don’t call Tsim Sha Tsui “the dark side.”
Richard Branson, Michelle Obama, Oprah, Melissa McCarthy and Elon Musk.
Natalie Imbruglia – “Torn”. My go-to karaoke song.
I don’t hate anyone that much!
The Taste Library at PMQ. It has the best collection of culinary books especially Chinese ones in Hong Kong. It’s always very quiet and I love how in-between work I can grab a book and find inspiration.