Melissa King was a finalist on Top Chef Season 12 in Boston, and she will be one of the many chefs appearing in Top Chef: All Stars, which premieres on March 19, 2020 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
Melissa King has been recognized in many outlets, including Thrillist as “one of the best female chefs in San Francisco.” She has a cooking style that combines local ingredients with modern techniques and Asian flavors.
Read on to learn more about Melissa King from Top Chef.
She Said The Show Changed Her Life
King was born and raised in Los Angeles by her Cantonese mother and Shanghainese father, and she had learned to cook in a wok by the time she was just six years old. After high school, she worked to earn her B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Irvine. She also graduated at the top of her class from the Culinary Institute of America.
“Top Chef changed my life,” she said in a video released by Bravo ahead of the premiere. “It’s really given me a lot of confidence in my cooking, confidence in myself.”
King has led kitchens including Michelin starred restaurants in San Francisco including Campton Place, Luce and The Ritz Carlton Dining Room. She has also cooked personally for Oprah Winfrey and Al Gore.
In March 2020, she began working with World Central Kitchen and Chef Jose Andres to push out hot meals to people who were left on the coronavirus-quarantined cruise ships. She posted about the experience on Instagram, writing “I became a chef because I love to feed people. I’ve always used food as a way to show my love. It may not seem like much but hopefully this one meal can bring a little hope and light into a stranger’s life so they know they’re not alone.”
Together, they pushed out over 1500 dinners to the passengers.
King Started Her Own Company
“Since the show, I started a company focused on culinary partnerships. I’m currently a chef ambassador for Whole Foods Market. Sometimes you’ll see me at a food festival, or I’ll be doing a corporate event. Other times I’ll be consulting internationally… every day is different,” she said.
When it comes to what she thinks will give her an advantage when it comes to the show this season, King said that she believes people see her as the nice one. She said that her cooking skills have improved and her creativity has blossomed in the time since she last appeared on the show.
“I’m really just honing into my roots as an Asian American,” she said, referencing the fact that she’s come to embrace using Japanese, Chinese and Asian ingredients in her cooking.
Recently, King has focused on developing an ice cream line alongside Humphry Slocombe. She has worked with several organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, the Tegan and Sara Foundation and Brave Trails to support LGBTQ rights, education for youth, environmental sustainability and women’s empowerment.
She announced Top Chef’s return with an Instagram post, writing, “I can’t believe it’s finally here! Hopefully tonight we give you something to look forward to during quarantine. Cheer me on while I go up against some of the biggest talents in the industry.”
Top Chef All-Stars airs on Thursday nights on Bravo at 10 ET/PT.