Bernice Chan

Hong Kong

Bernice Chan

Senior Writer, Culture Desk

Bernice Chan is a senior writer on the Culture desk. She samples more than her share of dishes around Hong Kong and writes about people and issues that make an impact on the city.

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Latest from Bernice Chan

Tempura isn’t from Japan: how a fried Portuguese classic became a staple of Japanese cuisine

Tempura – seafood or vegetables coated in batter and deep-fried – is as much a staple of Japanese cuisine as sushi and sashimi, but its origins are on the other side of the world.

15 Jan 2021 - 9:22AM

Tempura – seafood or vegetables coated in batter and deep-fried – is as much a staple of Japanese cuisine as sushi and sashimi, but its origins are on the other side of the world.

Tempura isn’t from Japan: how a fried Portuguese classic became a staple of Japanese cuisine
Exploring Jamaica’s Rastafarian religion turned Spanish chef Raul Tronco Calahorra onto vegetarianism

Head chef of vegetarian restaurant Komune, Raul Tronco Calahorra changed his diet and lifestyle after trying Rastafarianism. His next goal is to go vegan.

12 Jan 2021 - 3:15PM

Head chef of vegetarian restaurant Komune, Raul Tronco Calahorra changed his diet and lifestyle after trying Rastafarianism. His next goal is to go vegan.

Exploring Jamaica’s Rastafarian religion turned Spanish chef Raul Tronco Calahorra onto vegetarianism
Tales of Chinese-Canadians in Vancouver through the decades brought to life, from their struggles to cultural impact

The Museum of Vancouver’s latest exhibition focuses on the history of the city’s Chinese-Canadians, from their struggles for belonging to their cultural impact.

7 Jan 2021 - 6:45AM

The Museum of Vancouver’s latest exhibition focuses on the history of the city’s Chinese-Canadians, from their struggles for belonging to their cultural impact.

Tales of Chinese-Canadians in Vancouver through the decades brought to life, from their struggles to cultural impact
Hong Kong Spanish restaurant FoFo by el Willy to close after 11 years, hit by coronavirus and protest double whammy

If you haven’t been yet, now’s the time to go – after 11 years, fine-dining Spanish restaurant FoFo by el Willy closes on January 30, hit by Hong Kong’s Covid-19 dine-in restrictions and the disruption of 2019 anti-government protests.

6 Jan 2021 - 6:45PM

If you haven’t been yet, now’s the time to go – after 11 years, fine-dining Spanish restaurant FoFo by el Willy closes on January 30, hit by Hong Kong’s Covid-19 dine-in restrictions and the disruption of 2019 anti-government protests.

Hong Kong Spanish restaurant FoFo by el Willy to close after 11 years, hit by coronavirus and protest double whammy
Japanese tempura, its Portugese origins and how it became high culinary art
Diner’s Diary | Red Pepper Restaurant in Hong Kong, where Bruce Lee fought NBA star Kareem Abdul Jabbar, closes after almost 50 years

The restaurant, where Bruce Lee filmed scenes for Game of Death, opened in 1971, serving Sichuan food. The loss of business due to the pandemic led to a decision to close for six months, says the owner, who is not sure if it will reopen.

30 Dec 2020 - 12:49PM

The restaurant, where Bruce Lee filmed scenes for Game of Death, opened in 1971, serving Sichuan food. The loss of business due to the pandemic led to a decision to close for six months, says the owner, who is not sure if it will reopen.

Red Pepper Restaurant in Hong Kong, where Bruce Lee fought NBA star Kareem Abdul Jabbar, closes after almost 50 years
Free Covid-19 test before you party: New Year’s Eve offer by restaurant group could be blueprint for safer dining while pandemic lasts

Prenetics rapid coronavirus tests offered to diners who pre-book for countdown events at five restaurants of the Black Sheep group in Hong Kong. Co-founder Syed Asim Hussain sees the exercise a blueprint for less stressful dining in 2021.

29 Dec 2020 - 3:49PM

Prenetics rapid coronavirus tests offered to diners who pre-book for countdown events at five restaurants of the Black Sheep group in Hong Kong. Co-founder Syed Asim Hussain sees the exercise a blueprint for less stressful dining in 2021.

Free Covid-19 test before you party: New Year’s Eve offer by restaurant group could be blueprint for safer dining while pandemic lasts
Five pop-up Christmas pastry shops in Hong Kong serving sweet treats over the holidays

Michelin-star chef Richard Ekkebus is baking ‘brookies’, cakes and dessert pots at a Landmark Mandarin Oriental pop-up shop over the Christmas holidays. He’s not alone – several other top chefs have opened pastry pop-ups.

22 Dec 2020 - 2:45PM

Michelin-star chef Richard Ekkebus is baking ‘brookies’, cakes and dessert pots at a Landmark Mandarin Oriental pop-up shop over the Christmas holidays. He’s not alone – several other top chefs have opened pastry pop-ups.

Five pop-up Christmas pastry shops in Hong Kong serving sweet treats over the  holidays
Netflix documentary André & His Olive Tree is ‘so real’: behind the scenes with chef André Chiang and filmmaker Josiah Ng

Chef André Chiang and filmmaker Josiah Ng talk about Netflix documentary André & His Olive Tree and why Chiang closed his two-Michelin-starred Restaurant André in Singapore.

22 Dec 2020 - 2:44PM

Chef André Chiang and filmmaker Josiah Ng talk about Netflix documentary André & His Olive Tree and why Chiang closed his two-Michelin-starred Restaurant André in Singapore.

Netflix documentary André & His Olive Tree is ‘so real’: behind the scenes with chef André Chiang and filmmaker Josiah Ng
Chef Olivier Elzer came to Hong Kong on a mission to collect Michelin stars

After just eight months as culinary director at L’Envol at the St Regis Hong Kong, Olivier Elzer saw the restaurant awarded its first Michelin star. He is already working to earn a second.

21 Dec 2020 - 12:49PM

After just eight months as culinary director at L’Envol at the St Regis Hong Kong, Olivier Elzer saw the restaurant awarded its first Michelin star. He is already working to earn a second.

Chef Olivier Elzer came to Hong Kong on a mission to collect Michelin stars
Singapore-based Michelin-star chef on his Christmas dinner with a twist using Marks and Spencer ingredients

Kirk Westaway was challenged by Marks and Spencer to come up with an alternative Christmas turkey dinner home cooks could make using ingredients from its shelves.

17 Dec 2020 - 10:45AM

Kirk Westaway was challenged by Marks and Spencer to come up with an alternative Christmas turkey dinner home cooks could make using ingredients from its shelves.

Singapore-based Michelin-star chef on his Christmas dinner with a twist using Marks and Spencer ingredients
Princess Diana and Charlie Chaplin were customers, but Hong Kong jewellers K.S. Sze and Sons is still very much a family affair

Jewellers K.S. Sze and Sons in the Mandarin Oriental has roots tracing back almost a century to Shanghai and has made pieces for celebrities from both Hong Kong and across the world.

16 Dec 2020 - 7:15AM

Jewellers K.S. Sze and Sons in the Mandarin Oriental has roots tracing back almost a century to Shanghai and has made pieces for celebrities from both Hong Kong and across the world.

Princess Diana and Charlie Chaplin were customers, but Hong Kong jewellers K.S. Sze and Sons is still very much a family affair
Chef Ringo Chan on Hongkongers’ tastes for desserts that aren’t too sweet, and how the world is catching on

Ringo Chan, executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, talks about creating the Christmas lobby display, cooking competitions and why cakes are getting less sugary.

15 Dec 2020 - 3:15PM

Ringo Chan, executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, talks about creating the Christmas lobby display, cooking competitions and why cakes are getting less sugary.

Chef Ringo Chan on Hongkongers’ tastes for desserts that aren’t too sweet, and how the world is catching on
Bad quarantine food in Hong Kong? Not for this Italian chef: he flavoured his bowls of rice with olives, sausages and sun-dried tomatoes

Three-Michelin-star chef Umberto Bombana’s two weeks in a Hong Kong Covid-19 quarantine centre, where previous occupants have complained about the food, were improved by a suitcase of Italian treats he brought with him.

16 Dec 2020 - 8:26PM

Three-Michelin-star chef Umberto Bombana’s two weeks in a Hong Kong Covid-19 quarantine centre, where previous occupants have complained about the food, were improved by a suitcase of Italian treats he brought with him.

Bad quarantine food in Hong Kong? Not for this Italian chef: he flavoured his bowls of rice with olives, sausages and sun-dried tomatoes
Eating raw vegan food felt like flying, says Hong Kong chef Tina Barrat

The French chef behind Hong Kong vegan restaurant MA … and The Seeds of Life says a healer made her feel like she was flying and raw vegan food gave her the same rush.

7 Dec 2020 - 12:15PM

The French chef behind Hong Kong vegan restaurant MA … and The Seeds of Life says a healer made her feel like she was flying and raw vegan food gave her the same rush.

Eating raw vegan food felt like flying, says Hong Kong chef Tina Barrat
Netflix show Final Table’s Chef Rafael Gil ‘never planned to do TV’

Brazilian Rafael Gil, executive chef at W Hong Kong, on filming the Netflix show Final Table, experiencing culture shock in Singapore and raising the level of Spanish cuisine in Hong Kong.

30 Nov 2020 - 10:43AM

Brazilian Rafael Gil, executive chef at W Hong Kong, on filming the Netflix show Final Table, experiencing culture shock in Singapore and raising the level of Spanish cuisine in Hong Kong.

Netflix show Final Table’s Chef Rafael Gil ‘never planned to do TV’
Bad vibrations: voice analysis uses the way you sound to reveal things about your body you don’t yet know

Wear more blue, smell more cloves and listen to Mozart – a voice analysis at Red Doors Studio in Hong Kong suggests simple ways to correct a body’s perceived imbalances.

28 Nov 2020 - 6:50AM

Wear more blue, smell more cloves and listen to Mozart – a voice analysis at Red Doors Studio in Hong Kong suggests simple ways to correct a body’s perceived imbalances.

Bad vibrations: voice analysis uses the way you sound to reveal things about your body you don’t yet know
‘If you can’t take it, get another job’: chef’s tough apprenticeship, and how young cooks don’t want to work in Chinese restaurant kitchens any more

When Siu Hin-chi, the executive chef of Ying Jee Club in Hong Kong, started in a kitchen at 15, he got blisters from carrying hot pots. Nowadays, he says, young cooks think working in a Chinese restaurant kitchen too demanding.

24 Nov 2020 - 9:58AM

When Siu Hin-chi, the executive chef of Ying Jee Club in Hong Kong, started in a kitchen at 15, he got blisters from carrying hot pots. Nowadays, he says, young cooks think working in a Chinese restaurant kitchen too demanding.

‘If you can’t take it, get another job’: chef’s tough apprenticeship, and how young cooks don’t want to work in Chinese restaurant kitchens any more
Travel bubble: Singapore for foodies and art lovers – the top places to eat and drink, and local art to savour

Combine a visit to the The National Gallery of Singapore for a retrospective of major local artist Georgette Chen with a meal at three-Michelin-star Odette, or indulge in gin and champagne at the Atlas bar in Bugis.

21 Nov 2020 - 5:50PM

Combine a visit to the The National Gallery of Singapore for a retrospective of major local artist Georgette Chen with a meal at three-Michelin-star Odette, or indulge in gin and champagne at the Atlas bar in Bugis.

Travel bubble: Singapore for foodies and art lovers – the top places to eat and drink, and local art to savour
Chef Daisuke Mori on why you cannot ‘cheat’ the palates of Hong Kong diners

Daisuke Mori, the executive chef of Takumi by Daisuke Mori, has a background in French cuisine but finds it too heavy for local palates.

16 Nov 2020 - 2:46PM

Daisuke Mori, the executive chef of Takumi by Daisuke Mori, has a background in French cuisine but finds it too heavy for local palates.

Chef Daisuke Mori on why you cannot ‘cheat’ the palates of Hong Kong diners
How tofu made it to America, was disparaged for decades but went mainstream when 1960s counterculture exploded

From its invention in China 2,000 years ago to acceptance in mainstream America today, tofu has gone from an acquired taste to trendy superfood.

3 Dec 2020 - 11:38AM

From its invention in China 2,000 years ago to acceptance in mainstream America today, tofu has gone from an acquired taste to trendy superfood.

How tofu made it to America, was disparaged for decades but went mainstream when 1960s counterculture exploded
How Hong Kong helped Finnish chef Jaakko Sorsa appreciate his homeland

Jaakko Sorsa, executive chef at Shore Hospitality, talks about catering to Hong Kong palates and learning to appreciate his native Finland, a country he once found boring.

9 Nov 2020 - 1:37PM

Jaakko Sorsa, executive chef at Shore Hospitality, talks about catering to Hong Kong palates and learning to appreciate his native Finland, a country he once found boring.

How Hong Kong helped Finnish chef Jaakko Sorsa appreciate his homeland
Cafe Gray Deluxe to close in Admiralty, heralding ‘new chapter’ in innovative dining, Swire Hotels says

Restaurant at The Upper House that’s been a beacon of modern European dining for 11 years, and which nurtured several young chefs who’ve earned acclaim, will shut at the end of December.

6 Nov 2020 - 11:54AM

Restaurant at The Upper House that’s been a beacon of modern European dining for 11 years, and which nurtured several young chefs who’ve earned acclaim, will shut at the end of December.

Cafe Gray Deluxe to close in Admiralty, heralding ‘new chapter’ in innovative dining, Swire Hotels says
How tofu made its way to the West
From cooking at a Macau cafe to the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong hotel’s head Chinese chef, Chan Hon-cheong on his career in the kitchen

As Chinese executive chef at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Chan Hon-cheong gets to apply his 30 years of experience, which began at his uncle’s cafe in Macau.

2 Nov 2020 - 3:15PM

As Chinese executive chef at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Chan Hon-cheong gets to apply his 30 years of experience, which began at his uncle’s cafe in Macau.

From cooking at a Macau cafe to the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong hotel’s head Chinese chef, Chan Hon-cheong on his career in the kitchen
Plant-based meat in Hong Kong supermarkets and at McDonald’s – going vegetarian or vegan has never been easier

Impossible Beef in supermarkets and OmniPork luncheon meat at McDonald’s are the latest indications that vegetarian and plant-based diets are becoming more mainstream in Hong Kong.

29 Oct 2020 - 10:15AM

Impossible Beef in supermarkets and OmniPork luncheon meat at McDonald’s are the latest indications that vegetarian and plant-based diets are becoming more mainstream in Hong Kong.

Plant-based meat in Hong Kong supermarkets and at McDonald’s – going vegetarian or vegan has never been easier
Bibi & Baba: make-up artist, hairstylist open Peranakan cuisine restaurant in Hong Kong

Tinoq Russell Goh and Dylan Chan served Peranakan food at their Singapore private kitchen, PasirpanjangBoy, and have now brought it to Hong Kong with Bibi & Baba.

28 Oct 2020 - 3:25PM

Tinoq Russell Goh and Dylan Chan served Peranakan food at their Singapore private kitchen, PasirpanjangBoy, and have now brought it to Hong Kong with Bibi & Baba.

Bibi & Baba: make-up artist, hairstylist open Peranakan cuisine restaurant in Hong Kong
Taiwanese-Canadian chef Angus An favoured French fine dining until he tried David Thompson’s Thai food

Angus An, the Taiwanese-Canadian chef-owner of Maenam restaurant in Vancouver, favoured French fine dining until an encounter with Thompson’s cooking changed his ‘entire direction and philosophy’.

27 Oct 2020 - 2:30AM

Angus An, the Taiwanese-Canadian chef-owner of Maenam restaurant in Vancouver, favoured French fine dining until an encounter with Thompson’s cooking changed his ‘entire direction and philosophy’.

Taiwanese-Canadian chef Angus An favoured French fine dining until he tried David Thompson’s Thai food
Joyce Ma’s amateur chef grandson to cook at Sevva, serving a US$250 six-course meal with fish, a katsu twist and his take on lemon tea for dessert

Christopher Ho, grandson of Hong Kong fashion stalwart Joyce Ma, got his first cookery lessons from Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver on YouTube. He will put his kitchen skills to the test serving a six-course meal at Sevva.

26 Oct 2020 - 6:47PM

Christopher Ho, grandson of Hong Kong fashion stalwart Joyce Ma, got his first cookery lessons from Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver on YouTube. He will put his kitchen skills to the test serving a six-course meal at Sevva.

Joyce Ma’s amateur chef grandson to cook at Sevva, serving a US$250 six-course meal with fish, a katsu twist and his take on lemon tea for dessert
Chefs keeping traditional Cantonese cuisine alive the hard way – by evolving dishes while keeping to their roots

‘I hate it when restaurants put foie gras or truffle on Cantonese food,’ chef Danny Yip says, one of several Hong Kong chefs who prefer to keep the cuisine’s spirit when improving traditional dishes.

15 Oct 2020 - 7:22PM

‘I hate it when restaurants put foie gras or truffle on Cantonese food,’ chef Danny Yip says, one of several Hong Kong chefs who prefer to keep the cuisine’s spirit when improving traditional dishes.

Chefs keeping traditional Cantonese cuisine alive the hard way – by evolving dishes while keeping to their roots