“You want to be a chef, instead of a lawyer?!” Helen’s father is stunned.
Catering is probably the most common business in the overseas Chinese community. The older Chinese generation labors day and night in order to free their younger generation of the chore of the kitchen. Helen, a British born Chinese, against all expectation leaves her lawyer job to set up her own restaurant. She discovers that her family cuisines are not only tasty but also full of dramatic stories, spanning almost a hundred years and crossing from Guangzhou via Hong Kong to England.
Helen Tse was awarded MBE for her contribution to the food and catering industry in UK in 2014. Her latest cookbook Dim Sum became a Times bestseller. In 2006, she put the remarkable journey of her family and her own into Sweet Mandarin, which was published in 33 countries to great acclaim. Pants Theatre Production’s Sweet Mandarin premiered in 2015, and was featured in Hong Kong Theatre Month in Shanghai 1862 Theatre.
Diaspora is derived from Greek, which means “I scatter”, a state of being torn between one’s roots and feeling alienated in a foreign culture. Hong Kong is unique in its geographical and historical background, being the point of contact between east and west for 150 years. Hong Kongers’ identity was shaped during the colonial period and continues to change in the post-colonial era. Where is our root? Where do we belong?