MING TSAI, CHEF/OWNER
Ming Tsai is a pioneer and innovator in East-West cuisine and the chef/owner of Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA and Blue Dragon in Boston, MA. In its first year, Blue Ginger was named "Best New Restaurant" by Boston Magazine, was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as "Best New Restaurant 1998," and Esquire Magazine named Ming Tsai as "Chef of the Year 1998." The James Beard Foundation crowned Ming "2002 Best Chef Northeast," and, since 2002, Zagat Restaurant Guide has rated Blue Ginger the "2nd Most Popular Boston Restaurant." Ming opened his Asian gastropub, Blue Dragon, in February 2013. Blue Dragon has already been awarded one of Esquire Magazine's "Best New Restaurants 2013" and listed as one of Zagat's "24 new restaurants you need to know about around the US."
Ming hosts and executive produces the Emmy-nominated public television show, Simply Ming, now in its twelfth season. He began cooking for television audiences on the Food Network, where he was the 1998 Emmy Award-Winning host of East Meets West with Ming Tsai. Ming's Quest, his popular cooking adventure series, also aired on Food Network.
Ming is the author of five cookbooks: Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai, Simply Ming, Ming's Master Recipes, Simply Ming One-Pot Meal, and Simply Ming In Your Kitchen.
Ming serves as the President, National Advisory Board, of the Family Reach organization, a non-profit whose mission is to provide financial relief and support to families fighting cancer. He is a national spokesperson for the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organization, and worked with Massachusetts Legislature to help write Bill S. 2701, signed into law in January 2009.
In 2012, Ming was invited by Secretary of State, The Honorable Hillary Clinton, to represent the U.S. with the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Initiative/American Chef Corps. The Chef Corps is a network of chefs from around the country that participate in a number of official government programs that use food as a foundation for public diplomacy efforts at home and abroad.
Ming is a proud member of the Harvard School of Public Health's Nutrition Round Table. His other favorite charities include Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Cam Neely Foundation and Squashbusters.
JON TAYLOR, EXECUTIVE CHEF
A native of Highland Falls, New York, Executive Chef Jonathan Taylor worked in kitchens across the country, learning varied cuisines and techniques before bringing that expertise to Blue Ginger. Taylor's interest in food and cooking started at an early age, watching Martin Yan, Justin Wilson and The Frugal Gourmet on public television. Taylor found a passion for regional and global cuisine through these culinary teachers.
Taylor's youth belies his fifteen years in the restaurant industry. Always willing to start at the lowest position in a kitchen and work his way up, he has held positions from dishwasher to roundsman to his current position as Chef Tsai's right-hand man. "I'm grateful that I've worked every possible job in a kitchen. It gives me an understanding of what each person on my team goes through -- I've been there. It also helps create a mutual respect for each other, which is so important in a kitchen if you want it to work well."
Taylor's travels took him to Atlanta, where he worked his way up from prep cook to tournant at Brasserie Le Coze, a Maguy Le Coze-Eric Ripert restaurant, the same team behind Le Bernardin. Taylor's experience also includes stints at the Atlanta Fish Market, which regularly reached one thousand covers on weekends, and Brasserie Jo, Jean Joho's popular French bistro. Taylor's knowledge of French cuisine and technique, his ability to work in a fast-paced, high-volume environment, and his interest in American regional and International cuisine seemed the perfect match for Blue Ginger, an East/West bistro.
Chef Taylor joined the Blue Ginger team in 1999, rising quickly through the ranks to the Executive Chef position under Chef Tsai. At Blue Ginger, Taylor oversees every aspect of the kitchen, from managing a staff of twenty to creating new dishes for the menu, which is always seasonal, to traveling with Chef Tsai to special events.
With Chef Tsai and his team of sous chefs, he strives to always keep in mind the philosophy of Blue Ginger, blending East and West techniques and ingredients with respect and creativity.
During his time at Blue Ginger, Chef Taylor has cooked at events across the country - from the James Beard Awards to the Sundance Film Festival to Iron Chef America (Ming Tsai's team won, by the way). But, most nights you can find Taylor behind the line of the open kitchen, calmly but quickly preparing dishes and surveying the crowd.
Chef Taylor lives in Stoughton with his wife, Paula, and his son Jackson.
DEANNE STEFFEN CHINN, PASTRY CHEF
Born in Manchester, NH, Pastry Chef Deanne Steffen Chinn knew from a young age that a career in pastry was in her future.
She recalls a memory of being just 13 years old, watching a 6-foot wedding cake being made, knowing right then and there
that she wanted to be a Pastry Chef. It seemed appropriate, then, that she would graduate High School and go on to Southern New Hampshire University for her Associates Degree in Culinary Arts with a concentration in Pastry Arts. Today, beyond going for visits, she often returns to her alma-mater as a professor teaching a course on International Baking.
Her first years out of culinary school were spent at The Bedford Village Inn in Bedford, NH as a pastry cook. In the summer of 2004 she made a big leap, as many young cooks do, to cook on Nantucket for the summer. She would go on to spend 3 summers on Nantucket, working at Topper's at the Wauwinet Inn, while spending her winters on the mainland. She used her winters as an opportunity to challenge herself - her first winter was spent in Palm Beach, Florida working for Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud. The following winter she stayed close to Nantucket, working at No. 9 Park with Barbara Lynch in Boston, "I learned a lot there, one of the best chefs to work for," Chef Dee says of her time spent at No. 9 Park.
Dee's third winter off-island would prove to be a career-changing move. "Halloween of 2006" as Chef Dee says, was when she began at Blue Ginger. She came in as Assistant Pastry Chef under Michele Fadden. "Michele and I were an awesome team, we finished eachothers sentences," Dee says of the pairs relationship. Dee's first years at Blue Ginger can be described as "A huge learning opportunity. Learning the management role at a young age helped me grow into the Pastry Chef I am today."
As it so happens, just before Dee started, Myron Chinn, now Executive Sous Chef at Blue Ginger, happened to have started the month before. Whether they knew it or not, they would soon become fast friends. Their friendship soon blossomed and six years later, they became part of the Blue Ginger legend (13th couple who met and married through Blue Ginger) and married on July 4th, 2013. "Half of Blue Ginger was at our wedding. Ming even gave a speech," she noted.
Always up for a challenge, Dee could not have been more ready to assume the role of Pastry Chef . She looks forward to being able to tackle more of the Asian ingredients that can be found at Blue Ginger. "I'm always trying to find that very traditional Asian dessert or flavor profile and turn it into something new and cool for the dessert menu." Chef Dee resides in Natick with Myron.