Season 11: New Orleans
Season 14: Charleston
Current Residency: Los Angeles, California
Occupation/Profession: Owner, Ms Chi Café
Born and raised in Beijing China, Shirley was exposed to international cuisine at an early age by her grandmother, Liang Si Yi, former Director of The Red Cross in China. Shirley immigrated to America at age 17 for college and worked in Silicon Valley for a few years after graduating. Shirley decided to follow her passion for food so she left her career in high tech behind and enrolled California Culinary Academy San Francisco. She is trained in classic French and Italian cuisine, worked and opened restaurants for Thomas Keller, Guy Savoy and Mario Batali. After she opened CarneVino as Chef de Cuisine for the Batali group, CarneVino earned multiple awards for Best Steak House internationally.
Prior to being a finalist on season 11 of Bravo’s Top Chef in New Orleans, she held the Executive Chef Position at China Poblano, by Jose Andres, which was nominated for the Best New Restaurant Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2011. While working at China Poblano, she fell in love with Mexican cuisine and learned more about her own heritage. In 2014, Shirley opened a restaurant in Orange County, Twenty Eight, featuring modern Chinese cuisine.
Shirley was the runner up on season 14 of Bravo’s Top Chef in Charleston where she used the opportunity to showcase her Chinese American Cuisine. Her restaurant concept Ms Chi Cafe is now open in Culver City and she has a satellite location at The Fields LA food hall in DTLA. In 2018, Shirley released her cookbook, Chinese Heritage Cooking From My American Kitchen.