Erling Wu-Bower

Erling Wu-Bower

Partner at Ripe Fruit and Underscore Hospitality

I'm driven by two things: beautiful ingredients and flavor.

Patience will lead to success. Things don’t happen overnight, or after two or even three years.
The best advice I've received was from my older brother - “Stay where you are. If you do what you love for long enough, life will pay you back.”
Cooks, despite the fact that we love to have fun, still need to be professionals. I understand that we party more and love to indulge, but when you walk through the doors of your job, you are a professional and you need to act like one.
I learned from my first job to be clean. Taste every dish. The pathway to becoming a chef is line cooking at a consistent level every day. It is by working hard at the job you’re given that leads to promotion and success. Asking for promotions and success is not the way to get promotion and success.
Food itself and beautiful ingredients keeps me motivated during stressful times related to work. If you’re not passionate about beautiful ingredients, you might as well choose a different profession. Because a lot of times, they are the only thing that can make you smile.
I've had many mentors - so many that I apologize to everyone I’m skipping. My mother and father taught me about passion and culture. Rick Bayless taught me about details and how important they are. Paul Kahan taught me about the importance of quality and beautiful ingredients.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

Send Us Your Nominations

If you know of any extraordinary food, beverage and hospitality professionals who inspire others through their hard work and leadership, nominate them now!


Search industry jobs here

Get Inspired by Industry Leaders

Explore their unique career timelines and advice about what they’ve learned along the way

Pastry & Baking
Wine & Beverage
Office & Admin
Career Changer
International Experience
James Beard Award