Born and raised in Los Angeles by traditional Chinese parents, Melissa learned to work a wok by age six, acting as her mother’s little sous chef. She learned to cook by experimentation and by watching cooking shows like Julia & Jacques. While obtaining a B.A. in Cognitive Science, she satisfied her hunger for working in the kitchen by moonlighting as a line cook. Melissa went on to graduate at the top of her class from the Culinary Institute of America before relocating to San Francisco. Melissa trained under several Michelin star and James Beard-acclaimed chefs throughout the Bay Area including Dominique Crenn, Craig Stoll, and Ron Siegel. As Siegel’s Sous Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Dining Room, she adopted a true value for seasonality and discipline of classic technique. Melissa currently works as a private chef, demonstrating whole animal and farm-to-table movements throughout her food while drawing inspiration from her travels.
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