founder and director
Daisann created Little Adventures in Hong Kong in 2009 to bring sophisticated global nomads, food lovers, expats and corporate executives closer to Hong Kong’s culture and cuisine. Helping people discover the real Hong Kong is a natural extension of Daisann’s distinguished career as an award winning journalist. For twelve years, she was a contributing editor and columnist for National Geographic Traveler Magazine. Daisann is a a five time winner of the Society of American Travel Writers Lowell Thomas prize, and spent 6 years and visited more than 50 countries as the New York Times “Frugal Traveler”. The New York native and honors graduate of Princeton University first came to Hong Kong in 2001 and fell in love with the city. She returned in 2002 to study Cantonese at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Daisann has shared her travel, culinary and cultural insights with audiences around the world, in venues as diverse as the Smithsonian Institute, The National Geographic Society, Cuba’s Casa de las Americas, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific and the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Hong Kong.
Little Adventures’ Janice Leung Hayes is a dynamo who balances three thriving careers: she’s a food journalist, Hong Kong’s most authoritative food blogger, and the innovative entrepreneur behind Hong Kong farm and food advocacy initiative Honestly Green. Janice was born in Hong Kong, and grew up here and in Australia. An honors graduate of the University of Melbourne (MA, linguistics), Janice has become one of Hong Kong’s most respected authorities on dining and food culture. Her columns and restaurant reviews appear in the South China Morning Post, Wall Street Journal, Eater.com, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Conde Nast Traveller and LUXE City Guides. Janice’s Hong Kong food blog, E_Ting The World has become the go-to source for information on Cantonese (and Western) cuisine and dining in Hong Kong. Janice has channeled her passion for real food into the marketplace, by founding Tong Chong Market Hong Kong’s first weekly local and sustainable organic food market.
Little Adventures is delighted to have Johannes Pong, one of Hong Kong’s most celebrated food, travel and lifestyle journalists, on our team. An authority on Hong Kong’s fine dining scene, his articles and restaurant reviews have been showcased in international publications like CNN Travel, Departures and the Wall Street Journal. Johannes was born in Minnesota, USA, grew up in HK, and has a MA in Linguistics– he navigates effortlessly between fluent Cantonese and English, and speaks Japanese and Mandarin, as well! His insider knowledge of local Cantonese cuisine and street food led the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern to invite Johannes to be a guest on his hit foodie TV show “Bizarre Foods“–Johannes introduced Zimmern to HK specialties like turtle jelly and snake soup. Johannes also brings to Little Adventures a comprehensive knowledge of Hong Kong’s bar and nightlife scene, which he honed while writing a notoriously irreverent weekly column for HK Magazine.
Yvonne brings a formidable skill set to her work at Little Adventures: an encyclopaedic knowledge of Hong Kong’s history and culture, an anthropologist’s knack for making deeper connections, and a sharp sense of humor. Yvonne’s career spans university teaching, journalism, museum consulting and film programming. She also knows her way around a wonton noodle or roast meat shop, since she grew up in Penang, Malaysia, the world’s street food capital. Trained in anthropology, art history and museum studies, Yvonne conducted fieldwork in Tanzania and taught cultural anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania before settling into Hong Kong. It was a natural fit since she’d fallen in love with Hong Kong cinema years before. Yvonne eventually became the South China Morning Post’s film editor, while writing frequently about Hong Kong’s arts scene, hiking trails, traditional cultural events, and food gems. For an advance taste of Yvonne’s passion for all things Hong Kong, from food and flora to film we highly recommend a dip into her engaging blog.
senior host, culinary professional programs
Hong Kong-born Daniel Cheung is not only a hardcore foodie and a culture fiend–he is Little Adventures’ very own resident Chef Daniel, a graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Back in Hong Kong after stints in some of London’s finest Michelin starred kitchens, Daniel’s spearheaded LAHK’s expansion into professional culinary programs. A world citizen, he lived in five countries (Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Australia and the UK) by the age of 23, and speaks English, Cantonese, Japanese, French and Mandarin. Daniel heads his own PR firm For Food’s Sake, and knows everyone who is anyone in Hong Kong’s food and beverage world. He will lead you through a day of Hong Kong eating, from high to low, like the pro that he is. He can deconstruct for you the fine details of a perfect Wonton soup, or walk you through the history, ingredients and techniques of a classic Cantonese dish. A Renaissance man who loves his art as well as his fine food, Daniel’s has an M.A. in anthropology.
Charmaine Mok, a native Hong Konger who grew up in Calgary, is the Editorial Director of Food & Wine at Edipresse Media Asia, publishers of HongKongTatlerDining.com as well as the Hong Kong Tatler Best Restaurants dining guide. She went to London to get her degree in media and cultural studies at Goldsmiths and the School of African and Oriental Studies. Along the way, she developed her critical chops by working as a freelance food writer for publications such as Delicious, Square Meal, and BBC Food, and served as Deputy Food & Drink Editor of Time Out London. Now based in Hong Kong, and a LAHK team member since 2012, Charmaine is a well known authority on the HK food beat, writing about our newest restaurant openings, dining trends and food culture. She’s also a terrific photographer and Instagrammer. Her up-to-the minute and comprehensive knowledge of Hong Kong’s restaurant scene, plus her passionate understanding of Hong Kong’s old school food and culture bring an invaluable depth to the expertise of Little Adventures team.
Juliana Loh is a freelance food and travel writer contributing regularly to the South China Morning Post, Travel + Leisure and other regional publications. Born and raised in a Cantonese household in Singapore, Juliana grew up on double boiled soups and Nonya curries. She believes that food is the window into a country’s culture and loves taking a deep dive into new and old flavours in different countries. Juliana has lived in Italy, Beijing, Macau and now calls Hong Kong home. She’s an accomplished cook, and you can read more about her kitchen (and other!) adventures on her terrific blog, Chicken Scrawlings. Contrary to popular belief that being married to a chef means you have won the gastronomic lottery, Juliana runs the kitchen at home and does most of the cooking for her two-Michelin starred French chef husband.
Adele’s expertise spans the worlds of food, finance, publishing and engineering. She created and edits Hong Kong’s premier online lifestyle magazine, The Loop HK. She’s also the former dining editor of HK magazine and author of “Hong Kong Food & Culture: From Dim Sum to Dried Abalone” Expertly researched and beautifully photographed, this is one of the few authoritative English language books in the market on our Hong Kong Cantonese food and cuisine. Born in Hong Kong, raised between here and Toronto, Canada, Adele got her first degree in Systems Engineering and worked for a while in the corporate side of the food industry at Kraft Foods. Returning to Hong Kong for a position with Goldman Sachs, she made a decision to switch careers, got a second certification from HKU Space, and made a move into publishing. She quickly found a local news reporting position at the Hong Kong Standard, where she covered everything from Hong Kong’s legislative council to the (in)famous billion dollar estate battle locally known as the “Feng Shui Master” will.
Born in London, Laura Dodwell-Groves was three when her father’s journalism career moved the family to Hong Kong, where she grew up and attended the prestigious Chinese International School. Though she has lived in a few other places on the world map (Vancouver, Edinburgh, Singapore and Shanghai, picking up two Master’s degrees along the way), it has been the times away that have helped Laura gain a greater appreciation for all the quirks and idiosyncratic delights of this extraordinary city. Her work with a local food charity and research on sustainability have helped her realize the inseparable link between a place’s food and its cultural and historical identity.
Brian, based in Brooklyn, New York, is an integral link in Little Adventures full-service international operation. Brian fields inquiries, troubleshoots the workflow process, and consults and writes much of our client communications materials. His depth of experience in the hospitality industry includes management, fine dining and good old fashioned mixology, shaking up countless cocktails in Brooklyn. A strategist by nature, Brian brings to LAHK years of valuable business experience coaching entrepreneurs, execs and career clients at his company, BrianBeattyCoaching.com.
I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most knowledgeable and passionate food and culture experts in Hong Kong. We represent five countries (besides HK), and cover 7 or 8 languages, I've lost count! The best, though, is that we've become more than a work team--we hang out, share ideas, food, photos, tips on where to go. Our collective LAHK ``hive mind``of expert knowledge is one of the most powerful resources we offer our clients--indeed, I don't know what I'd do without it!`` -- Daisann McLane, director, LAHK
Gary Suen, best known by his online handle @g4gary, is one of Hong Kong’s most renowned and widely-followed food writers, Instagrammers and gourmands-on-the-town. His superb blog, Joie de Vivre is just that—a celebration in prose and pictures of Hong Kong food, spirits and life. Gary’s culinary knowledge and expertise covers the map, from European haute dining to regional Chinese food, to Japan, where he travels frequently to eat and share his mouth-watering reports. Gary has a deep understanding of the full spectrum of Cantonese cuisines, including lesser known regional variations like Shunde and Chiu Chow, and an authoritative connoisseurship of our local food, from street to fine dining to the home kitchen (Gary’s a keen and accomplished cook). His perspective, advice and recommendations are an invaluable resource that we are privileged to tap for our Little Adventures in Hong Kong programs.
Adam is a product of Hong Kong history right down to the genetics: his father is English and his mother is Chinese, and he’s Hong Kong born-and-raised, with stints at boarding school in the UK. He has a First in English Literature from Oxford, which is the kind of thing that hasn’t been quite as useful as he’d hoped. After a few years living and working as a journalist and editor in London, he returned to Hong Kong to edit HK Magazine, the city’s best lifestyle publication. It was there that he rediscovered his love for the city — from its heritage, to its people, to its countless bowls of noodles. While at the magazine he wrote the weekly “Mr. Know-It-All” column, explaining the city’s many historical and cultural quirks. He recently became the editor of Cathay Pacific’s Discovery inflight mag, after freelancing for a string of prestigious outlets including CNN, the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Tatler and more. He’s also was recently elected as a Journalist Governor of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong, where he spends slightly too much of his time.
David and Rachel Wong Schlesinger have been living and working in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China on and off over the last three decades. Rachel, an educator, translator and art historian, is a born and bred Hong Konger. David, now managing director of Tripod Advisors arrived as a young journalist with Reuters, where he eventually rose to become worldwide Editor-in-Chief and then Chairman of Thomson Reuters China. Both fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, the Schlesingers bring to Little Adventures a rich and unique perspective and insight into Hong Kong’s local culture, history, and life–and an unparalleled connoisseurship of classic Chinese food.
Sarah founded and edits LIV, Hong Kong’s first and only magazine dedicated to health, wellness and green lifestyle. She’s the former Managing Editor of HK Magazine, Hong Kong’s best-known English language weekly, Sarah Fung is a proud lifelong Hongkonger (her mum is British and her dad is Chinese) who speaks both English and Cantonese. In her career as a writer and editor, she has covered everything from heritage preservation, local politics and Hong Kong history to the coolest bars, restaurants, shops and spas in the city.
Journalist, essayist and entertainment attorney Paul Karl Lukacs is our expert on Hong Kong’s legal system and on the city’s celebrated film industry and pop culture. His articles on the former frequently appear in the South China Morning Post and Asia Sentinel. An Ohio native, Paul traveled the world (including North Korea) and lived in Hong Kong for several years before returning to California. His opinionated reviews of Hong Kong media, movies, books and music can be found on his own blog and at the Wall Street Journal online. He brings to Little Adventures a wide-ranging intellect, deep knowledge of how Hong Kong works as a global city, and a love of Hong Kong’s local culture.