From her talent for bridal fashion to starting her own private kitchen, we chat with Rania Hatoum about how living in Hong Kong and abroad has helped her to pursue her passions.
Designing gorgeous bridal gowns by day and getting busy in the kitchen at night, half-Egyptian half-Chinese Rania Hatoum splits her day between her two loves: food and fashion. We’ve been huge fans of her wedding dress designs and are just as enamoured by the decadent dishes she plates up for her members-only private kitchen RH Fine Dining and pastry business Tarte. Ahead, Rania runs through a typical day in her busy life and shares how living in Hong Kong and abroad has helped her thrive in the worlds of bridal design and F&B.
Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you lived in Hong Kong?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong. I lived here for 14 years, then moved around the world, from Egypt to the US and Tokyo, and now I am back in Hong Kong indefinitely.
What do you love the most about this city?
I love how international Hong Kong is, and how I can find almost anything I need for both my businesses, from fabrics to fresh seafood from the wet market. I love how fast paced this city is, but at the same time I can drive for half an hour and find myself at the most tranquil beach and just tan all day long to destress.
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What drew you into the world of bridal fashion?
My parents have been in the fashion industry for 30 odd years, so I felt like my fashion career path had already been paved for me at a young age.
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How would you describe your own personal style?
Feminine, minimal and artistic.
You launched your own private kitchen, RH Fine Dining, around the start of the pandemic. Can you tell us about your relationship with food and cooking?
I have always had a passion for cooking and eating. I would travel the world to try all different kinds of cuisine. Cooking is therapeutic for me and I always enjoy hosting dinner parties and feeding my friends. It all started when I was living in Tokyo, where I would often go to the local fish markets then go home and prepare dinner for my husband and friends.
Has your Chinese and Egyptian heritage influenced your designs and cooking style?
Surprisingly they have not, but the time I spent living in Japan and travelling around Europe has largely influenced my cooking style. French and Japanese cuisine are my favourite which is why my focus is on French-Japanese fusion.
What are your favourite ingredients to work with?
The finest in ingredients in life! I mainly love using seafood and other ingredients with strong, aromatic flavours such as caviar, sea urchin, truffles and fine herbs. Now with my recently launched pastry brand, Tarte, I get to use these luxurious ingredients to create what I like to call “the finer tarts in life”.
What are your favourite dishes to eat at home or out?
Omakase is my favourite type of food, I’m a sucker for fresh seafood and French cheese!
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What does a typical week look like for you?
Day-time bridal designer and private chef by night, I would meet with brides from the morning to afternoon, and then I would start prepping for my dinner parties from late afternoon and my day would typically end at 11pm.
What do you do in your downtime?
Spend time with my dog, work out, hang at the beach and play poker with friends.
I just need to do keep doing what I do, work harder and stay focused.
What are three goals you had for this year?
I just tell myself I just need to do keep doing what I do, work harder and stay focused. I want to live a healthier lifestyle and be more active, give more time to myself and be able to travel for more inspiration.
How would you like to see Rania Hatoum Bridal and RH Fine Dining grow?
After a series of successful pop-ups for Tarte, including our current one at LANDMARK, I’m looking to expand the brand globally. As for my bridal design business, I hope to launch a bigger collection soon and would love to hold my own local fashion show in Hong Kong one day.
What advice would you give to someone that has multiple passions?
If you are doing what you love you will never have to work a day in your life. Follow your passion and success will follow, it may not happen quickly but patience and persistence will make it all happen.
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All images courtesy of Rania Hatoum.