His Instagram blog was recently presented in Vogue and Tatler as one of the best food blogs in Hong Kong. Andrew is a banker by day and a foodie by night.
1. What does food mean to you?
To me, food is more than a necessity or a simple nourishment. Food brings people together. It's a means of connection to people of different ethnicities, cultures and upbringings. This is particularly apparent in my work as it brings my clients and me together, regardless of gender and race. At different stages of my life, my perspectives on food changes. When I was a stay-home kid, my mum cooked for the whole family and even though they were always the same dishes (my favourite dish was pan-fried black cod with mayonnaise), my mum's home-cooked meals are my roots and what held my family together. And when I was in elementary school, we only cared about what's "cool" and the taste. I still vividly remember the exciting looks on our face when we were lining up for the hot egg waffles with peanut butter spread, cold instant noodles with toppings, red bean ice pops, etc (childhood memories for everyone growing up in Hong Kong!). And now, maybe we care more about the details, the execution, creativity and the chef, but at the end of the day, it's all about connection!
2. Which food products do you eat most?
I tried to eat different types of food from time to time but in Chinese food culture, we love carbs and I mean carbs in different forms. Rice or noodles may sound dull but there are so many variations one can explore. Even for rice, we can have rice in broth, congee, fried rice, baked rice etc. And similar to pasta, we have different types of noodles like lian pi, shanghai niao gao, daoxiaomien, just to name a few. And I am sure no matter where I live in future, I can't live without a hearty bowl of rice / noodles and it can never be replaced by burgers or pasta.
3. Which values do you take into consideration doing grocery shopping?
I think I dine out 80% of my time but when I am in the mood for grocery shopping, I normally consider whether its value for money, its branding, where it was produced and sometimes its nutritional values.
4. Which, in your opinion, are the most relevant trends for the future of the food sector?
Definitely superfood and plant-based meat substitutes will be the new normal. It has been growing not only as a supplement but slowly integrating into main dishes (or even coffee actually, like bulletproof coffee, spirulina latte, etc). Our mindsets have changed - we started to want multiple benefits from food, not only to satiate our hunger, but also help us digest and bring vitamins / nutrients that one needs, or even better, we want sustainable food that benefits the ecosystem.
5. Which innovative food will be most successful?
Having said that, superfood is a very loose term and hence we may find new superfood every week through social media / ads. I would imagine the next innovative food to be flexible in culinary use, do not compromise on taste, and have beneficial nutrient profile. Take avocado as an example, it has been there and is popular at all times because you can put this healthy thing into salad, turn it into avocado toast, or even make drinks out of it.
6. Do you think young people have different consumer patterns from an older generation?
I think the younger generation emphasizes wellness more than the older generation. They tend to be more receptive to new and healthy products, despite coming with a higher price tag.
7. Breakfast, lunch, dinner & snack: what will we be eating in 10 years?
For breakfasts, I think we still want to keep it basic. We don't have much time for breakfast everyday so it should be something easy, healthy, a quick fix that gives you a boost of energy for the day e.g. fruits, superfood smoothie, etc.
For lunch, in Hong Kong, it's a big thing and we are never satisfied with just a take-away sandwich. We normally sit down and have a proper meal with our friends or colleagues. Similar to dinner, I think it shouldn't be drastically different from now, but maybe just more healthier options to choose from.
I don't snack much (surprisingly) but I would imagine it's something ready to eat and with nutritional values e.g. kale chips and nuts.