Nicole has taken the Hong Kong food blog scene by storm, stole their hearts with ease, and looks amazing doing it.
I was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. I studied at the University of Alberta for a couple years, then finished my Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of Calgary majoring in accounting.
How did you end up moving to Hong Kong and what got you interested in food in the first place?
I took some time off after graduation and figured Hong Kong would be a good travel hub for 6 months. My dad’s side of the family lives in Hong Kong so it was the most economical way for me to travel. During my time in Asia and Australia, I found my passion for food and travel.
So you decided to start a food blog, which is so entertaining to read – by the way. What do you think helped set it apart – is there a specific niche that you had in mind?
I lucked out and met some amazing people in Hong Kong, my husband included. My friends and husband played a major part in motivating and inspiring me to start That Food Cray !!! My husband has been extremely supportive and showed me the ropes in terms of learning how to use WordPress as well as schooling me on photography. That Food Cray !!! differentiates itself from most food blogs and doesn’t take food too seriously. I’m not trying to be a food critic or shut people down for the sake of traffic. We try to keep it 100, funny, easy to digest, relatable and accessible with a strong focus on photography. We are constantly learning about new foods and exploring new places hoping to encourage others to also step out of their comfort zones to travel, to explore and try new things.
Most recently you’ve started the site ‘MISSBISH’ with two other gals, Lindsay & Gillian. It emanates empowerment for all women out there. Can you tell us a little about the mantra behind it and why you decided to embark on this wicked project?
MISSBISH is an editorial website with an e-commerce component that we started for women, to celebrate women. We focus on empowering women by creating strong female-driven content. We share stories about inspirational females who are killing it, whether in fashion, music, art, food, whatever. MISSBISH is essentially a community of beautiful women who are fearless, creative and empowering. We felt that this was something that was definitely missing, but so necessary.
Where do you draw your creative influences from and how does it evolve? Have you always been creative?
To be 100% honest, I’m still very new to this whole creative scene. Most of my creativity is inspired by the people around me. My closest friends are the ones who have pushed, challenged, and inspired me to move in the direction I’m moving in now. I feel like is another reason why building MISSBISH was so important to me on a personal level. For me, I wanted to build a network of women to inspire other females as a way of spreading the love / good karma that I have been blessed with. To answer your second question, I grew up in a pretty traditional Chinese household. At the end of the day, getting good grades in math, English, and science was what mattered. That being said, my parents also felt it was important to allow me to express my creativity via piano and art lessons. I also had hobbies including cooking, music and designing my AsianAvenue / Calgary Planet webpages haha.. However, when it came to choosing a career path, something that would land me a cushie 9-5 corporate job seemed like the right choice. I didn’t realize until afterward, that the financial industry was not me. Regardless of how hard I tried, it just wasn’t something I was passionate about.
What can you suggest for other girls out there working away at something they don’t feel fulfilled by – can anyone be a creative?
I strongly believe that anyone can be creative. You just have to find something you’re passionate about, work hard at it, and make it happen. This may sound super cliche, but anything is possible as long as you’re willing to commit and put in the work.
It must be hard to stay fit in the midst of a life of eating, striking a balance is everything; how often do you have to hit the gym?
This year, my new years resolution was to hit up the gym at least 2-3 times a week. So far, I haven’t fallen off the wagon! When I’m not stuffing my face with burgers, ramen, and whatever else I post, I’m probably eating something boring – like a salad or yogurt haha.
Last one, what’s your favourite place to eat in HK? (you can give us five, it’s hard to pick)
This is a tough call, so I’m going to name a few. Yardbird and Ronin – run by the same peeps, Matt Abergel and Lindsay Jang (she’s also one of my MISSBISHpartners). Tung Po is a fun spot with good vibes, the food isn’t amazing, but it’s always a good time. Sushi Shikon, my favorite sushi restaurant in Hong Kong. Via Tokyo if you’re into Japanese soft serve, it’s the best. Kakurega Ramen Factory, IMO the best tsukemen in HK.
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