【明報專訊】In the 1950s and 1960s, most Hong Kong families used copper kitchenware. With pots, pans and kettles all made of the durable material, the copperware industry was thriving and there were about 30 shops across the city selling everything from urns to door knockers. However, stainless steel gradually replaced copper as the favourite of families and restaurants, because it was far easier to clean and less reactive to acid. Nowadays, it is mainly traditional Chinese herbal tea shops that use copperware over stainless steel. However, many professional chefs still use copper cookware for its ability to heat quickly and evenly, but very few places in Hong Kong continue to make the products.
Luk Shu Choi（陸樹才）and Luk Keung Choi （陸强才）are the sons of the late Luk Bing who established Bing Kee Copperware in the 1940s. For nearly 80 years, the Yau Ma Tei shop has been producing hand-hammered copperware for restaurants, homes, tea shops and hotels. The Luk brothers learned the trade from their father and they still work in the same family shop despite the lack of air conditioning. It takes a full day to finish one pot and each one costs about HK$700. The shop is brimming with1 handcrafted kitchenware, urns, door knockers and other trinkets. The floor is littered with hundreds of hammers and old tools, which have been acquired over time as other copperware shops have closed down and donated their wares.
Photography by Gary Jones
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