Chef Melissa King is one of the most exciting young talents in America’s culinary scene — with a unique, hyper-local cooking style that combines the Bay Area’s best ingredients with modern techniques and Asian flavors. She earned national recognition placing as a finalist on the Bravo television series Top Chef and has been recognized as “one of the best female chefs in San Francisco” and “40 under 40: Rising Star”.
King started cooking at the age of six, learning how to prepare traditional Cantonese and Shanghainese dishes from her family. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science at the University of California, Irvine, King attended the Culinary Institute of America where she graduated at the top of her class. She’s also a certified level 1 master sommelier.
With over 15 years in the industry, Chef King has helmed the kitchens of several Michelin starred restaurants in San Francisco (Campton Place, Luce, The Ritz Carlton Dining Room) under acclaimed names such as Dominique Crenn and Ron Siegel. She has cooked for several notable figures such as Oprah Winfred and Al Gore.
She was the opening guest chef of Elle Café Aoyama, a fine dining restaurant in the fashion district of Tokyo, in collaboration with Elle Magazine.
She is the first chef ambassador for Whole Foods Market. She is the creator of Hong Kong Milk Tea, Golden Milk & Gingerbread, Yuzu Cream, and Coconut Shoyu Caramel ice creams with Humphry Slocombe sold exclusively within Whole Foods, with a 5th flavor to launch Spring 2019.
She co-hosted an ABC network holiday special called “Taste Buds: Chefsgiving” that aired in the winter of 2018.
She has a passion for supporting the community — she founded Co+Lab, an experimental pop-up dinner series showcasing the skill of both cook and craftsman. She was selected as Celebrity Grand Marshal for San Francisco Pride and has modeled for a Levi’s Strauss global Pride campaign advocating for the LGBTQ community. She has participated in several projects with proceeds supporting charities closest to her.
Along with being a chef, international consultant, television personality, and brand partner, King actively participates in speaking panels supporting women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability, food education for youths, and entrepreneurship. She also appears at food & music festivals such as Outsidelands, BottleRock, Comedy Central’s Clusterfest, Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival, & the Napa Valley Film Festival.
“When I’m not in the kitchen, you’ll find me at a concert, exploring the outdoors, doing yoga, or muay thai kickboxing. Life is an adventure! It’s easy to be extreme, but balance is what I strive for in life and in my cooking.” – Melissa King