Born in Hong Kong and now living in Orange County, California, Anita Lau is an international author and writer who has lived in Malaysia, Australia, Nebraska, Oregon, San Francisco and also, Hawaii. Her obsession with food began at an early age but it wasn’t until her early 20s when her experimentation with cooking led her to start a small catering business which she would run in her spare time while at college in Australia.
Returning to Hong Kong in the early 1990s, she discovered her passion for food was not only limited to cooking, but also, through the written word. Various channels opened up to her throughout the 1990s, where Anita not only was a contributor to the South China Morning Post, Asian Home Gourmet magazine, but also, was a columnist for the now defunct TV&Entertainment Times as well as a regular contributor to the Hong Kong Tatler‘s Annual Best Restaurants Guide. She’ll tell you her best memory during that time in Hong Kong was being a judge at the Hong Kong Culinary Awards. It was a pivotal decade in her life.
Moving to the United States in 1999, writing gigs were not as abundant leading to only contributing to the Palo Alto Weekly, however, availed time for her to author a cookbook entitled Asian Greens in 2001 (available through Amazon). She also kept up her love of writing by posting on YELP which led to her position as the 2nd most prolific Yelper in the world and earning her elite badges for 11 consecutive years (two of which are “Black Elite Badges”).
In 2009, Anita returned to more active writing including a 10-month stint as contributing food writer at the Orange County Register and Food Frenzy blog and was a guest judge at Top Chef Korean Food Challenge.
Her love of cooking was not all lost when in August 2011, she was invited to guest chef at the Kowloon Cricket Club‘s fine dining room in Hong Kong where she presented a menu of her favorite dishes inspired by local Orange County eateries and while there, was featured in the food section of the South China Morning Post.
In 2012, she was invited to speak at the V3Con Digital Media Conference, appeared in an episode of Eat Street and her website “diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” was nominated for a Golden Foodie Award in the Best Blog category.
2013 saw Anita once again judging various food competitions, and she was featured on yet another episode of Eat Street, and served as a panelist at OCPRSA. Remaining on the Guild of the Golden Foodie Awards for the second year, she was nominated for a Golden Foodie Award once again, this time, in the Best OC Food Writer category. On top of that, she is a regular San Diego “correspondent” for the SoCal Restaurant Show, which airs every Saturday from 10am to 12pm on AM830.
In 2014, Anita was welcomed into the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LA/OC Chapter) and appeared as a guest judge on season 12 of Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen. She was once again nominated for a Golden Foodie Award in the Best Food Writer category, won the OC Weekly’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Blog, and was chosen by CBS.com as having one of the best blogs in Orange County. Her freelance avenues for the year included: Riviera magazine (July/Sept), thrillist.com, Laguna Beach magazine (Dec).
In 2015, she represented Orange County at “Foodie Hub” (formerly Chowzter)’s North American Awards ceremony in New Orleans and once again, judged at the OC Fair’s Chefs Challenge. She was nominated once again for a Golden Foodie Award in the Best Food Writer category, and continues to freelance adding Dine Newport Beach, and also, Le Pan Media Hong Kong to her repertoire. She also traveled to Mexico to judge the annual Sabor de Baja event in August, and was in Hong Kong for the Michelin 2016 announcements this November. She also continues to periodically contribute to the SoCal Restaurant Show.
In 2016 Anita accepted the role of co-President of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier (Orange County chapter). She was also a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association.
In 2017, Anita continued to serve at co-President of LDEI and co-chaired the annual LDEI conference in Newport Beach. She continued as contributor for the SoCal Restaurant Show. This year, Anita also took on the role of International Casting Producer for the Netflix series, The Final Table, launched Nov, 2018.
In 2018, Anita was once again invited to judge the prestigious Sabor de Baja culinary competition in Rosarito, Mexico. She continues her role as co-President of Les Dames d’Escoffier, as well as International Casting Producer for The Final Table.
Anita’s focus continues to be in helping businesses in marketing, and achieving their social media presence, especially those involved in the food industry both in the US and abroad. Her role as a “connector” for businesses locally and internationally continues.
2019: Anita steps into her new role as Immediate Past President of Les Dames d’Escoffier.
This year, Anita once again judged Sabor de Baja in Mexico, and was featured in several articles: February/March issue of AARP magazine about 50+ social media influencers; Voyage LA in May; and Oprah Magazine in August.
2020 & beyond: The pandemic prompted some changes. In 2020, Anita jumped on the bandwagon of selling home-cooked meals from home. Then, a project surfaced where she was approached by the Fukushima Project, to create recipes for the Fukushima Tourism Board.
Anita continues to serve as Immediate Past President on the Board of the local chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier (LDE LA/OC), and in October 2022, she will step into her new role as Second Vice President on the Board of Directors for Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI).
diary of a Mad Hungry Woman is a journey of her adventures, mostly, food shared with friends, but also includes travel, the arts and other things that’s dear to her heart.