We speak to the chef about life outside of the kitchen and why multi-tasking is key when it comes to having it all

Esther Sham, or Chef Tata, is the mind behind Maison Es and its predecessor Ta Pantry, and is well known for her food as well as her attention to detail when it comes to décor. With a cooking show in the pipeline, and two young sons, the culinary connoisseur chats to us about balancing the boys in her life with her thriving business: 

I was born in Hong Kong but spent my childhood growing up in the United States. However I have always felt that my roots are in Hong Kong, so I decided to move back to Hong Kong by myself after I graduated from college.

When I was thinking of opening Ta Pantry and Maison Es, the message that kept reverberating in my mind was a need to “bring life into style.”

Currently my proudest accomplishment is the interior design and décor of Maison Es and Ta Pantry. However I keep setting new goals, so there will no doubt be something else I’m focused on soon enough.

Naturally there are things I wish I had done differently but we can’t undo what’s already done - so we just have to learn from the past and plan to make wiser decisions in the future.

I really look to different areas and people for inspiration but someone that I’ve always admired and continue to look to has got to be Oprah Winfrey.

The beauty about running your own business is the flexibility it can afford you, I have two young sons plus my ‘daughter’ Xiao-Fung, so it’s nice to be able to still spend time with them and juggle multiple projects at a time.

‘Hope for the best but plan for the worst’ would bemy advice to budding entrepreneurs.

My end goal is to live a life that’s true to what I believe in, and to be able to look back on my decisions and hold no regrets or ill feelings towards my best.

I always believed that people are their own worst enemy.

In the next ten years I hope I can be a successful homemaker, in terms of being the best wife and mother possible, and I hope that my businesses are a vehicle towards driving my lifestyle brand while positively impacting the people who enjoy what I do.

The Tatler 10 is a new HongKongTatler.com series focusing on the people who have shaped society today 

Photography by Edgar Tapan 


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