In 2018 chef and restaurateur Lisa Lov started the organic and locally sourced restaurant Tigermom inspired by the Asian kitchen. Originally from New Zealand, Lisa has lived both in Canada and in Denmark since 2011 and has an impressive resume behind her. We have caught up with Lisa for a talk on food, business, and passion.
How and when did your passion for food start? And how did you enter the food industry yourself?
I grew up in a Chinese-Cambodian immigrant family in New Zealand and I was one of those foreign kids who brought “weird” and “smelly” food to school instead of ham sandwiches like everyone else. So, I knew I was different somehow, but I loved eating curried chicken leftovers for lunch! I did want to be like everyone else, but I chose food over fitting in.
I started working in a café while I was in high school and found out that I really enjoyed cooking. I kept working in cafes and restaurants part time while I studied.
What do you know now that you wished you had known beforehand?
So many things! But life is about challenging yourself, accepting responsibility for mistakes you make and learning from them. That’s what makes you wiser.
What is the concept and idea behind Tigermom Restaurant?
I wanted to make food that reflected the taste of home, in some way. I was homesick after I moved to Denmark and craved Asian flavors and certain dishes of my childhood. I also wanted to make a restaurant that wasn’t necessarily traditional food, but that reflected the location and season as well. Therefore, using organic, seasonal, and local produce made so much sense and my cooking adapted towards this. The food you get at Tigermom is inspired from abroad, yet very local at the same time.
Your menu changes seasonally. How do you approach creativity in your kitchen when cooking up new dishes and menus?
I really like to involve my team as I think everyone has something to contribute. Usually it starts with some produce we would like to use because of the change in season, and then we brainstorm and make trials. I always try to bring in ideas from flavor combinations I enjoy, which are usually inspired from dishes I have eaten some time in my past that have made me happy, or was memorable in some other way.
What is your favorite meal to cook for family and friends?
Oh, that’s hard to say. But wontons have always been a favorite food of my brother and I. I have millions of memories of sitting around the table folding wontons with my mum and brother so we could eat wontons for days! It’s always nice to make wontons with friends and family.
Is there anything else you’re passionate about at the moment?
Well I recently got married, so I am passionate about my man, if I can say that!
Passion; also known as dedication, as hunger, it is the desire to destroy oneself for one’s art. To tear down, move, or start over in order to rebuild and expand. The feeling of not being able to let go. It is a human condition that most are bound by.
Even though we are JUST human, JUST women, JUST female, we all have that drive that makes us ‘more than’. It is what makes us-, our stories-, and our creations unique. From a job, to a child, to a hobby gone wild, we, and you, are more than JUST female. We have gathered some of the most inspiring Danish women that we know for a talk about passion, creativity, and the balance between worklife and homelife.
Let their inspiring stories, trials and errors be a reminder that we all can struggle, we can fail, but something will always have us return to that same place of passion. And maybe the point is not necessarily to succeed, but to have given it your all, and grown in the process.
Tell us about your passion, struggle, and successes!