It’s said that curiosity kills cats, but combine it with zeal and you might just give life to a celebrated culinary establishment like Tate Dining Room & Bar, which is what Vicky Lau, chef and restaurateur, has done. Originally a foodie with an avid appetite for Food Network, Lau took a leap of faith, putting her graphic-design career aside to take a Le Cordon Bleu course.
She’s since gone from strength to strength, first honing her skills at the now-defunct Cépage, and then establishing her own restaurant. Tate has become a firm favourite on Hong Kong’s fine-dining scene for food that’s as beautiful as its taste is exquisite. For Lau, there’s no secret – “It’s all driven by passion,” she says. “I don’t think too much about what the trend is or what’s going to be popular in Hong Kong. I just want to have a place that’s heartful, and I think the customer will see that.”
Now a mother, balancing parenting with Tate’s recent relocation and the launch of her first bakery, Poem – an endeavour she hopes will make her food available to all – Lau manages it all with a serene smile. “Slowly, I have evolved to get back to my roots. I’ve been testing Chinese recipes more frequently, going back to my father’s hometown, and sourcing tea from China. It grounds me more to have that root and influence.”