I grew up knowing food, tasting food, and making food. My mom is my biggest influence. She was once a great chef and had ran our family restaurant 14 hours a day, 362 days a year. She was the Iron Chef. There’s also my older brother who cooked with her day in and day out on thousands of lunches and dinners. Cooking in my family is not just food, it’s how we bond.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong, then moved the States and became a New Englander for about 6 years before becoming a New Yorker.
So you’re Chinese?
Yes, by ethnicity. Most of the time, I say that I’m Cantonese and from Hong Kong. To really get down to the technicality, I am a British colony-born Hong Kong Chinese. And I’m also a Hakka.
How does your background shape who you are as an food enthusiast?
The restaurant that my family ran when I was younger is all about traditional Hong Kong-style food – what you’d normally find at a Cha chaan teng. It’s a fast-paced, hectic environment during rush hours. I learned a lot from my Mom in all those years that I helped out at the restaurant.
Growing up with such a great combination of backgrounds of being a Hakka and living in colonial Hong Kong. I was exposed to an amazing food culture at a young age. At home, my Ah Gong (grandfather) could be cooking a traditional Hakka dish while my mom boils a pot of pasta in the same kitchen. There are always choices when it comes to food in Hong Kong and those choices have built up my palate and desire to explore new tastes.
Are you professionally trained in the culinary field?
No way, Jose. I’m a home cook. I pick up new skills and inspiration from reading and testing recipes in my kitchen.
So what do you do as a profession?
I currently work as a Graphic & Web Designer in a marketing agency in New York. However, I first learned to love print design, in High School then later in Pratt Institute.
You work as a designer — why start a food blog?
I really enjoy food and anything to do with it, it’s something that I hold dearly in my heart. In the past, through my job at Babble, I was exposed and introduced to some great food bloggers like Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker, Blogging Over Thyme, 101 Cookbooks, A Cozy Kitchen, etc… I was inspired so I started putting together this blog in 2012.
What are you trying to achieve with Saucy Spatula?
Saucy Spatula is a platform for me to share my passion, my background, and continue to explore my heritage through cooking. I want to share the food I grew up eating in Hong Kong, and new dishes that I was influenced and inspired to create.
Food is never just food. The engine that drives food to places is culture and history, and it’s important to know and question where ingredients come from to understand and appreciate food.
Connecting with me is easy – feel free to drop me a note via social media! And of course e-mails are always welcome. If you have a bigger note to send through, fly those to SaucySpatula(at)gmail(dot)com, and I’ll be sure to reply as soon as I can!
Any photographs and content on this blog may not be duplicated or republished without permission. If you would like to share a recipe, please use your own words and provide appropriate credit with a link back to the original post. Thanks!
Hey, thanks for checking out my about page. It means a lot to me that you’re here! Enjoy browsing around and let me know if you need anything.