Shaoching Bishop does not shy away from challenges. The self-described “perfectionist” and president of gourmet caviar brand Regiis Ova (“Royal Egg” in Latin), Bisy. She walked away from a lucrative investment banking position at Goldman Sachs to turn around two caviar giants (Tsar Nicoulai and Sterling) and has now partnered with famed chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller to for a DTC (“direct-to-chef”) brand of luxury caviar and roe.
“It’s not that different, really,” she says, recalling her banking days when she’s asked about expertly sourcing caviar from three hand-picked sturgeon farms. “We want to give back to young chefs,” which right now, has been the primary shared passion between her and Keller.
To date, they’ve donated nearly 40 pounds of caviar to competing chefs at the esteemed culinary competition Bocuse D’Or in Lyon, France as well as to Two X Two’s yearly gala benefiting AIDS and the arts in Dallas. When asked if she relates to these young chef’s perfectionism, she laughs, “It’s a community of perfection. I see these young chefs and how hard they work, and I think they are so much like the young people at Goldman.”
It comes as no surprise then that it pains Bishop to see people eat bad caviar. “When I go to Vegas, I often see people spending their hard-earned money on caviar that is not good. My hope for this company is for people to know the difference, to care, and to know where to invest their money.” It makes sense then that Regiis Ova is venturing into retail. “Let’s be honest,” Shaoching says, “No one would die without caviar. But it’s not about that. It’s about creating memories and making people happy. Caviar is that extra thing that does that.” This attitude may seem a bit like an incongruous aspiration for a former investment banker, but Bishop insists that’s what drives her every day.
“Partnering with Thomas Keller gave me different perspective--it’s not just about the quality of caviar. It’s about the whole experience of making it special. Life is about the process. And we sell very high-end caviar at the lowest possible price point because we want as many people as possible to feel special.”
Bishop’s most “special” quality might be her relentless work ethic coupled with this humanist ethos. “We want more people to enjoy caviar. We want people to know caviar. We want them to have a good experience. Why not make the receiver of a gift of caviar have the most amazing experience?” She admits that quality and presentation are everything in achieving this effect. “I feel almost selfish when I send out one of our packages because it’s so beautiful and what’s inside is so perfect. I feel so happy and proud of the caviar.”
- By Daphne Muller -