Many modern women are making waves in various industries while juggling their roles as wife, mother, daughter, and advocates of charitable institutions. The world has recently seen a strong sense of global activism towards gender parity like #MeToo and #TimesUp. While change will take its time to fully settle in, women are speaking up and are finally being heard. We are celebrating International Women’s Day with a round-up of inspiring and remarkable women in Macau. #PressforProgress
Betty Fung is the chef and founder of Café Bonbon and also one of Macau’s blooming talents. The Macau native is trained at Le Cordon Bleu, France, and has brought her dream to life by creating Instagram-worthy desserts that are a first for Macau’s vibrant culinary scene.
What do you love most about your work?
I am a chef. I love cooking as much as I enjoy traveling and tasting food in different countries.
When I taste something I truly like, I push myself to learn the creative process and cook for my friends too.
What prompted you to venture out in this career path?
I just fell in love with cooking and baking. Ever since I was a child, I never stopped creating in the kitchen. I’ve had fascinations for the arts and other hobbies but I found my passion for cooking. After I attended one of the workshops by the French hospitality school, Le Cordon Bleu, and I, at once, decided to quit my job and pack my bags. I went to Paris to study French culinary techniques and culture for a year and the rest is history.
What was the greatest challenge you ever faced in work or life?
Unlike many chefs, I didn’t start my culinary journey very early. However, my determination to follow my dream was more important than any other constraint. So, I endeavored to learn from the beginning and I must admit, it’s not easy for a female to work in a professional kitchen. After gaining some experience in the food and beverage division of a hotel, I started my own cafe, Café Bonbon.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from those challenges?
Being your own boss is the coolest thing ever but it also means that you have a great deal of responsibility. Of your company, your staff, and clients. It’s completely different from working in a big organization.
Which woman inspires you? Why?
My female inspiration is pastry chef Claire Heitzler. She belongs to a generation of women who entered the professional culinary scene with strength, offering a colorful and new method for making pastry. Her cuisine is light, fine, and it has a creative touch. I have tried her amazing dessert menu at the Lasserre restaurant in Paris when she was the pastry chef. I was so impressed with the beauty of her desserts, and how flawless they were on the outside. Each dessert is not less than an art piece. I wish I can be like her to– happy, passionate and creative with my work.
What does it mean to be a woman in this digital age?
Woman in this modern age should be independent and passionate about the work that they choose for themselves. It’s also important to remember that it’s never too late to chase your dreams. When you have the passion, go for it but prepare first.
What’s the best advice you could give aspiring women chefs and food entrepreneurs?
Love what you do. It is significant to find a good mentor to lead you on the right path. I have always been very lucky to have different chefs coach me through my journey.
What are your favorite things to do in Macau when you’re not working?
When I am not working, I spend a lot of time traveling, tasting food and seeking flavors to create. That’s my way of keeping balance and following my passion whilst still living my dream life in Paris. I also try to meet amazing chefs from all over the world over and build a global view of gastronomy as well as attending courses that help my culinary career.
What’s your recipe for a power breakfast?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I always love to have healthy breakfast at a small local cafe where I can brainstorm for marketing, administrative and creative aspects of my business.