Samanta Pong and Fergus Fung are the two local gourmets behind the WOM guide brand.
In their former lives they both had successful careers in international investment banks as financial analysts before they followed their true calling. With a passion for food and a desire to "eat for work", Samanta and Fergus saw an opportunity in the Hong Kong market to start an online and printed food guide. In 2004 they did just that, with the first printed edition of WOM guide issued in 2005.
Their proudest moments were when WOM guide became the number 1 selling book in Hong Kong in 2008, and the next year celebrating their 5th birthday with so many avid wommers in attendance.
WOM guide has seamlessly evolved since its inception into the foodie community, food-azine and trusted online and print dining guide it is today. Keeping up-to-date with technology, Samanta, Fergus and the young and energetic team are focused on ensuring WOM guide remains relevant, fun and community focused.
Hong Kong born, Samanta attended university at Oxford followed by post-graduate school at Columbia.
Her love of eating comes from her Cantonese heritage, and her family of devoted foodies. Food - both eating it and cooking it - is her hobby and her passion. She loves all types of food, from Hong Kong's traditional tea houses and dai pai dong, to the most luxurious restaurants and private dining rooms.
Dining out at any time of day or night, especially at non-traditional dining hours such as mid-morning and late afternoon means that from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to bed, food is on her mind. Her favourite cuisines: Japanese, Italian and more recently French bistro.
Samanta has always relied on friends for restaurant recommendations, so she knows the power of word-of-mouth. "It is especially helpful when you are in a new city only for a few days and want to make sure you have the best dining experience possible," she says.
Yoga and pilates keep her sane.
She truly believes that eating is life's greatest pleasure.
Not surprisingly, Fergus loves to eat. Any time; any cuisine. He also loves wine. Travelling to eat and drink good wines - now that is what Fergus calls a dream come true! He once had a 6 hour, 30 course lunch in France and delights in the memory.
A Hong Kong local, educated in Hong Kong and UK, Fergus attended university at Pembroke College, Oxford. More recently his education was centred on the art of good wine - a scholarship to take the Advanced Level of the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET), sponsored by Bonhams and AWSEC.
"What we eat is important. I believe we should be eating a healthy diet, for what we eat goes to our body. I never do what I believe though... I love cooking with bacon (really it's just pig's fat), and I love eating things that melt-in-your-mouth," Fergus says.
His favourite food: eggs. "I love them raw, boiled, scrambled, fried, poached, slow-cooked, or any way possible with a meal. I also love pork and anything pork related... cured ham from all parts of Spain and Italy, char siu, pork sausages, bacon, roast pork, roast ham, grilled kurobuta pork chops, Chinese-style roast pork belly."
To keep his trim figure, Fergus dreams of going to the gym. In reality he swims weekly (followed by a big lunch of course), plays golf, tennis and squash badly, and he recently took up pilates - which he finds makes him stand straighter. When he runs, it's usually towards a good meal.
Fergus is happily married and expecting twins.