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City Weekend

Hong Kong online chef has ‘never received sexist comments from trolls’

Day Day Cook founder Norma Chu believes it is partly due to her taking a less traditional path compared with other female chefs who work in professional kitchens

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 January, 2017, 11:03am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 January, 2017, 11:02am

A chef from Hong Kong who shot to fame online with her home cooking video tutorials has happily revealed that she has never received sexist comments from trolls.

Norma Chu, 36, a former banker who founded online cooking platform Day Day Cook in 2012, said she had so far escaped the sexism encountered by many female chefs in professional kitchens by taking a less traditional career path.

Her videos, which she produces in both Cantonese and Putonghua, now get about 250 million hits per month, mainly in Hong Kong and the mainland.

“I think it is partly because I am not a chef in the traditional sense that I haven’t experienced sexism,” she said.

“Most of the viewers are also female, but we still have about 20 to 25 per cent of viewers who are male. We check our feedback and we get good comments.”

Towards the end of last year, Day Day Cook launched its own range of food products and teamed up with e-commerce platforms to provide certain ingredients so that aspiring cooks can follow its recipes even more easily.

Hong Kong viewers can watch tutorials on its website, app, YouTube channel and Facebook page, while those from the mainland are able to watch the clips on mobile communication app WeChat or video websites such as Youku ,or sometimes on buses.

Chu, who moved back to Hong Kong nine years ago after a stint in the United States, said she had chosen to forge a career as an online chef because she wanted to develop a mass following, but said she thought the hours of an entrepreneur were “as demanding” as being a head chef in a restaurant.

“When I started the business, I wanted to reach out to a lot of people,” she said. “I wanted the model to be scalable. I wanted to let it evolve and make it into more of a brand.”