Perhaps one of the most in-demand caterers in Jamaica, Lorraine Fung possesses a quiet confidence that belies her tremendous achievements as a caterer extraordinaire. The daughter of a Chinese-raised father and a Jamaican mother, Fung grew up in her parents’ grocery business, where food was a constant presence, as three meals were prepared daily for the staff. “My father would purchase the Chinese grocery items from China Town at Barry Street, downtown store and he would show my mother and the cooks how to prepare the dishes. I soon mastered the art of blending sauces to get the authentic flavour and the patience in making spring rolls, wontons, dumplings and other Chinese dishes,” Fung explained.
While she would later ace home economics in school, when she graduated from secondary school, she ventured into the food business. “In the 1970s, the career choice was secretarial or cosmetology, unless you were from a family with medical, legal or construction background, so I opted to do a secretarial course at Duff’s College which was rewarding in and of itself,” she divulged.
Fung landed her first corporate job at the Insurance Company of the West Indies, but the desire to whip up meals remained. While her adventurous, youthful spirit would see her doing courses in interior designing, fashion designing and pattern making, as well as grooming and modeling courses, the itch to create food never waned. “For my children’s birthdays and special events, I was always cooking up a storm, so their friends would request that I cook at their parties. Those friends today are my clients for personal and corporate functions,” Fung said. She readily admits that while she has had no formal training in the culinary arts, “travelling extensively, eating at the best restaurants and the best hotels and investing in cookbooks” have served to make her that much better at her craft.