The last year has not been kind to Hong Kong’s restaurant and bar industry, what with months of social unrest followed by a pandemic eating seriously into their bottom line. Seeing venues close, and hearing of restaurant workers being laid off or furloughed, became a regular occurrence; over and over, we heard the same grievances and the familiar fears of an industry that has been seriously affected by the unending barrage of bad news and restrictions.
At the same time, we’ve seen that the darkest of days have resulted in countless stories of resilience and altruism, with members of the F&B community doing what they can to support each other through difficult times. At Tatler Dining, we’ve supported and covered these initiatives in our magazine, on our website and through our social media, whether it’s highlighting the numerous campaigns designed to get people supporting the industry to galvanising our audience to spend their money at their favourite restaurants before it’s too late through United We Dine.
In the midst of the second wave, the journey to create Add Oil recipe book began. A joint effort between Victoria Chow (The Woods), Janice Leung Hayes (Honestly Green) and myself, the book is our way of highlighting some of Hong Kong’s most iconic restaurants and bars and their signature dishes and drinks. We decided early on that proceeds from sales of the book would go back to the contributors. It may not generate the hundreds of thousands of dollars that businesses need to survive right now—that is largely in the hands of a government that has the power and resources to help—but we hope that in the process of creating and promoting Add Oil, we can remind everyone of the incredible talent and hard work that props up Hong Kong’s F&B industry and why they are so important.