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”. She co-hosted a James Beard Award nominated holiday special called “Taste Buds: Chefsgiving” that aired nationally on ABC network.
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 Winfrey and Al Gore.
She internationally consulted on the opening 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 and creator of cult-following ice cream flavors in collaboration with Humphry Slocombe that are sold exclusively within the market — Hong Kong Milk Tea, Golden Milk & Gingerbread, Yuzu Cream, Coconut Shoyu Caramel, and Mango Mojito.
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 is the face of IBM Research’s 5 in 5 Series featuring five innovations within food technology that will change lives.
Along with being a chef, food entrepreneur, 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, doing yoga, exploring the outdoors, and traveling. 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