The food and beverage industry, long dominated by men, is witnessing a transformation as a new wave of young female duos are making their mark and reshaping the sector to reflect their own vision. These inspiring women are blending their Asian heritage with a global upbringing and a willingness to take risks, showcasing the power of collaboration and innovation.
Elaine Chen and Maia Mah perfectly demonstrate this, as the regional director and creative director of Fukien Old Wine, a 181-year-old Chinese cooking wine brand. They organized a cocktail pop-up event at Soho House Hong Kong, combining traditional Chinese wine with modern trends.
Despite facing initial skepticism from their male-led head office, Chen and Mah are determined to introduce new ideas and adapt to societal changes. The success of the event surprised their colleagues, highlighting the duo’s ability to think outside the box.
Meanwhile, in Taiwan, Square Jao, a production designer, and her partner Lily Lin opened Plants Eatery, the country’s first gluten-free, whole-food restaurant. After the Fukushima disaster, Jao and Lin embarked on a mission to promote sustainable eating and raise awareness about the impact of food choices on the environment.
While vegetarianism is already popular in Taiwan, Jao and Lin’s restaurant offers strictly plant-based, gluten-free options, avoiding processed mock meats. Aside from their restaurant, they also published a cookbook in hopes to influence culinary schools to embrace plant-based and gluten-free cuisine, according to Tatler Asia.
In Japan, Eri Miyagi and Miki Nomura, both third-culture kids raised in the US, co-founded Cabi, a condiment brand aimed at introducing the flavors of Japan to Gen Z and Millennial home cooks. Cabi’s debut seasonings, including umami dashi soy sauce, sweet yuzu vinegar, and zesty sansho peppercorn miso, are designed to be versatile and cater to the modern urban lifestyle.
The rise of these female duos serve as an inspiration for a lot of underrepresented individuals, and remind us that with the proper determination and great collaboration, anything is possible.
Featured Image Source: Tatler Asia