Born in Hong Kong and now living in Orange County, California, Anita Lau is an international author and writer who has lived in Malaysia, Australia, Nebraska, Oregon, San Francisco and also, Hawaii. Her obsession with food began at an early age but it wasn’t until her early 20s when her experimentation with cooking led her to start a small catering business which she would run in her spare time while at college in Australia.

Returning to Hong Kong in the early 1990s, she discovered her passion for food was not only limited to cooking, but also, through the written word. Various channels opened up to her throughout the 1990s, where Anita not only was a contributor to the South China Morning Post, Asian Home Gourmet magazine, but also, was a columnist for the now defunct TV&Entertainment Times as well as a regular contributor to the Hong Kong Tatler‘s Annual Best Restaurants Guide. She’ll tell you her best memory during that time in Hong Kong was being a judge at the Hong Kong Culinary Awards. It was a pivotal decade in her life.

Moving to the United States in 1999, writing gigs were not as abundant leading to only contributing to the Palo Alto Weekly, however, availed time for her to author a cookbook entitled Asian Greens in 2001 (available through Amazon). She also kept up her love of writing by posting on YELP which led to her position as the 2nd most prolific Yelper in the world and earning her elite badges for 10 consecutive years.

In 2009, Anita returned to more active writing including a 10-month stint as contributing food writer at the Orange County Register and Food Frenzy blog and was a guest judge at Top Chef Korean Food Challenge.

Her love of cooking was not all lost when in August 2011, she was invited to guest chef at the Kowloon Cricket Club‘s fine dining room in Hong Kong where she featured a menu of her favorite dishes inspired by local Orange County eateries and while there, was featured in the food section of the South China Morning Post.

In 2012, she was invited to speak at the V3Con Digital Media Conference, appeared in an episode of Eat Street and her website “diary of a Mad Hungry Woman” was nominated for a Golden Foodie Award in the Best Blog category.

2013 saw Anita once again judging various food competitions, and she was featured on yet another episode of Eat Street, and served as a panelist at OCPRSA. Remaining on the Guild of the Golden Foodie Awards for the second year, she was nominated for a Golden Foodie Award once again, this time, in the Best OC Food Writer category. On top of that, she appears from time to time as the San Diego “correspondent” for the SoCal Restaurant Show, which airs every Saturday from 10am to 12pm on AM830.

This year, Anita was welcomed into the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LA/OC chapter) and appeared as a guest judge on season 12 of Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen. She was once again nominated for a Golden Foodie Award in the Best OC Food Writer category, won the OC Weekly’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Blog and was chosen by as having one of the best blogs in Orange County. Her freelance avenues for 2014 include: Riviera magazine (July/Sept), Laguna Beach Magazine (Dec).

diary of a Mad Hungry Woman is a journey of her gastronomical adventures, mostly shared with friends, but always scouring, searching, noshing, blogging and YELPing her way through the myriad of eateries from southern California and beyond, doing what she loves most — exploring and writing about food!


25 thoughts on “BIO

  1. Awesome work Anita, this is the first time I really looked into your background and didn’t realize how much knowledge you really had.

    I look forward to learning plenty from you and everyone else who have contributed to this gastronomical scene of ours, for many years to come. Cheers.

  2. You have a really great blog! I love reading your reviews! I see you have quite a following. I also noticed in your bio that you wrote for the Palo Alto Weekly. I grew up in Palo Alto, so I found that to be an additional perk about you!

  3. Hi Anita, I sent you a message on Yelp and would love to get your input on it. In trying to contact you I discovered a wonderful food writer! Score!

  4. Hi Anita,

    Thank you for sharing posts about awesome eats! It’s so helpful to stay in the loop, discover new and different things, and connect with other SoCal foodies!

    I’m writing to let you know that I’m hosting a Dishcrawl. It will be on Wednesday, June 12th at 7pm, in Carlsbad Village. You’d love it! During Dishcrawls, guests get to visit four restaurants, enjoy the specialties at each one, meet the owners, managers or chefs, and have fun socializing with fellow food lovers. It’s like a pub crawl, but with all kinds of food to devour! Carlsbad Village is such a charming part of town with its historic buildings, and it’s known for having a great North County downtown scene.

    You can view the event online at We hope that you can join us and help us spread the word! I’ve also included a press release about our Dishcrawl debut in Carlsbad Village below.

    Please feel free to contact me anytime, and we hope to see you there!

    Best wishes,

    The popular Bay Area start-up whips up social food adventures in North County San Diego.

    Carlsbad, CA – May 21, 2013 – Dishcrawl, a social dining start-up that brings communities together through great food and great company, is coming to Carlsbad in June! Dishcrawl takes food lovers to four delicious restaurants in one evening. It’s like a pub crawl – except that Dishcrawls spotlight food dishes instead of drinks.

    Dishcrawl introduces its social food adventures to Carlsbad Village, North County’s most charming beach town. The beautiful historic buildings and great downtown scene capture the hearts of visitors and locals alike. Dishcrawl’s mission is to bring together local chefs, food lovers and truly delectable dishes. Dishcrawl tickets can be purchased at!

    As part of the fun, the names of participating restaurants are kept top secret until two days before the event. Then, the first restaurant on the Dishcrawl gets revealed! Ticket holders are given clues about participating restaurants in the weeks leading up to the big night.

    To stay in the loop about Dishcrawl Carlsbad, visit, check out our Facebook or follow @DishcrawlCarl.

    About Dishcrawl
    Dishcrawl creates dining experiences and events to satisfy anyone’s craving. Our mission is to show food lovers the best dishes in local restaurants. You can find your local Dishcrawl Ambassador leading you through progressive dinners, prix fixe dinners, and other fun food events! Dishcrawlers can enjoy dining experiences in San Francisco, New York, Montreal, Ottawa, San Jose, Toronto, Philadelphia, DC, and more. Visit for a local dining experience.

  5. Hi Anita,

    Good to see you Tuesday! Lost your card with your email address. Can you send me your contact info?


  6. Anita,
    Is really nice to read your adventures, if someday you are in South Florida please come by our food stand in the Yellow and Green Farmer’s Market , at WE LOVE TACOS stand 028. We are a mix of vene-mexican couple , we really enjoy food all range , being in diffent places around the world as many famous restaurant to street carts too. We come from a family of taste and happy spirit, also taking so much care of the body and the right food, got back to our roots our unbeatable love for tacos.
    We were passionate of eating them at home, then inviting friends and family, we made everybody addict, and why not? Lets make for the public……..and now we are here!
    You are invited to come , we will be very plesed to have you and share our Love for Tacos.
    Nani & Trota

  7. Hi Anita,

    Great blog and beautiful pictures! I’d love to get in contact with you, maybe get your expert opinion and share some tips about your journey. My friend and I share the same passion and will soon begin ours in the foodie world. Looking forward to hearing from you!

    All the best,

  8. Hi Anita,
    You have a great blog with some descriptive writing and photos that make my mouth water. Nice job. I need to get out to some of the restaurants and order what you ordered.

  9. I lived in Kowloon Tong for a year and HK Magazine was my bible for things to do and places to eat. Did you ever work with them? Love your writing. Cheers!

    • I knew the guys who were with HK Mag when I lived/worked there. I wrote for HK Tatler’s 100 Best Restaurants guide for almost 10 years and freelanced for a bunch of magazines like Asian Home Gourmet, EVE (not around anymore), TV & Entertainment Mag (not around anymore)

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