Chef Ming Tsai
Name: Ming Tsai
Date of birth: March 29, 1964
Place: Newport Beach, CA
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Yale University, 1986; Master of Professional Studies Hotel Administration, Cornell, University, 1989
Ming's story began in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio where he spent countless hours cooking alongside his mother and father at their family owned restaurant, Mandarin Kitchen. His love of cooking (and eating!) great food was forged in these early years, while he gained valuable experience in both the front and back of the house.
With food still deeply ingrained, Ming headed east to attend school at Andover and then onto earn his degree in Mechanical Engineering at Yale University. During this time, Ming never strayed far from the kitchen; while at Yale, his sophomore summer was spent at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris . Upon graduation, Ming made the decision to make food his focus and set out to learn as much as he could, in kitchens around the globe.
In Paris he trained under renowned Pastry Chef, Pierre Herme and in Osaka with Sushi Master Kobayashi. By the time Ming returned to the United States, he knew that he had made the right decision to pursue his true calling in the world of food. To get closer to his (and every chef's dream), Ming enrolled in graduate school at Cornell University to earn his master's degree in Hotel Administration and Hospitality Marketing. From there he moved on to hold positions in both front and back of the house at establishments in Chicago, Atlanta, California and Santa Fe, where he continued to learn varied styles of cuisine.
Finally, in February of 1998, Ming's dream became reality. He and his wife Polly opened the doors to Blue Ginger, a bistro-style restaurant dedicated to East-West cuisine. Designed by both the husband and wife team and in conjunction with a Feng Shui Master, Blue Ginger showcases an open kitchen with a 40-foot blue pearl granite counter, subtle recessed lighting, cream colored walls simply adorned with Vietnamese waterscapes, warm cherry woodwork, Italian granite floors and a soothing water sculpture.
Located in the Boston suburb of Wellesley, Massachusetts, Blue Ginger brings urban dining and sophistication to the Boston suburbs.
Since opening its doors, Blue Ginger has impressed diners from Boston and beyond with its unique East-West cuisine. In its first year, Blue Ginger received 3 stars from the Boston Globe, was named 'Best New Restaurant' by Boston Magazine, was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as 'Best New Restaurant 1998' and Esquire Magazine honored Ming as 'Chef of the Year 1998'. Four years later the popularity continues!
The James Beard Foundation crowned Ming as the "2002 Best Chef Northeast", while the 2002-2003 Zagat Restaurant Guide rated Blue Ginger as the "2nd Most Popular Boston Restaurant"!
In addition to cooking at Blue Ginger, you can also catch Ming on the TV Foodnetwork, where he is the 1998 Emmy-Award Winning Host of East Meets West, Cooking with Ming Tsai and Ming's Quest. Both programs feature Ming preparing his signature East-West Cuisine, either in the kitchen or in the great outdoors. Don't have the Foodnetwork in your town? Head to your local bookstore and check out Ming's 1st cookbook, Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai, now in its 5th edition and selected by Food and Wine Magazine as one of 1999's twenty-five best cookbooks.
Sitting at your computer? Go to www.ming.com, Ming's information based site, focused on East-West living. Log on for recipes, ingredients, culinary gadgets, signature products updates on Ming, his restaurant and more.
In the Winter of 2000, Ming was approached by Target, who proposed the idea of a partnership. With the backing of such a trendy, quality focused retailer, Ming would be able to give even more people the opportunity to create East-West food at home that is flavorful and healthy, while at the same time being fun and affordable.
From Target and Ming's partnership, the Blue Ginger line was launched. "Blue Ginger' which is exclusively available at SuperTarget and Target stores nationwide, gives everyone all that they need to prepare Ming's distinctive East-West cuisine in their own kitchens. The easy to use, high-quality cookware and delicious Asian-inspired ingredients allow the home-cooks to experiment and create their own versions of Ming's East-West fare.
Keep your eye out for Ming's 2nd cookbook, Simply Ming, slated to be published by Clarkson Potter in the Fall of 2003. This new book will present Ming's signature East-West cuisine in recipes that are catered to the home-cook and those that don't want to spend all of their time in the kitchen, but rather enjoying the dishes with family and friends.