12 female chefs in Hong Kong to know about (and follow!)

Lifestyle Asia

7 Mar 2022

You probably knew these names already, but here’s another honourable mention anyway. In honour of Women’s History Month, meet 12 of Hong Kong’s impressive cast of female chefs.

The restaurant industry, like so many others, is a male-dominated one, typically credited to a working environment that’s apparently too laborious, too tiresome, too intense — so they say. While there’s no doubt surviving the restaurant scene is tough work, these female chefs in Hong Kong has soared beyond navigating hot stoves and proven this ancient theory all so wrong.

Good food is good food — it’s as simple as that. And these undeniable talents create stunning, inventive dishes that push the boundary of simple cooking and have earned top marks at some of the city’s best restaurants. Some have won titles like Asia’s Best Female Chef, others run Michelin-starred kitchens, and all are passionate individuals who showcase their amazing craft and bring extra joy to the city’s food scene.

Chan Kai Ying (Chilli Fagara)

Visit Chilli Fagara for its fiery Sichuan cuisine — dumplings soaked in chilli oil; tofu bubbling in a ma la broth — but don’t forget to credit Chan Kai Ying for the recipes. Born into a family of chefs and restauranteurs, it was only natural for Chan to find footing in the F&B industry, which she has through cooking authentic Sichuan recipes at the Central post. The Chong Qing native has since brought the restaurant to prestigious Michelin Guide standards, perfecting passed-down recipes and ideating new ones (including one chilli-spiked ice cream) and while she doesn’t seem to be on Instagram herself, you can follow — and head over for a mouth-numbing experience — Chan’s cooking at the Old Bailey Street address.