May Chow of Little Bao is Asia's Best Female Chef 2017
On December 13, Asia's 50 Best Restaurants named May Chow their Best Female Chef of 2017—the award will be presented at the annual ceremony to be held in Bangkok on February 21, 2017. It's already the Hongkonger's second major award this season—she was first given our inaugural Local Champion award for the 2017 edition of Hong Kong Tatler Best Restaurants on November 17. She was also one of four leading chefs who starred in our short film on celebrating Hong Kong food culture. Below is our write-up from the guide detailing just why this young chef deserves all the accolades she's received to date.
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-in-cheek 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 take on typhoon shelter crab—a 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. 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.