‘They all got game’: Celebrity chef Ming Tsai credits cooking skills, resiliency to his family

Tsai is cooling off in Hawaii after feeling the heat in the Netflix reboot of Iron Chef.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:52 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 1, 2022 at 10:04 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Did you spot celebrity chef Ming Tsai out and about in Hawaii?

Chances are you may be seeing more of him on Oahu.

Known for his exquisite and delicious East West cooking, Tsai is cooling off after feeling the heat in the Netflix reboot of Iron Chef.

”Iron Chef is bar none, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Tsai. “The 60 minutes or 75 minutes is a true 60 minutes you don’t get a second more. You also have to make five dishes times 5 plates of each. It’s absolutely like what you see on television and if you make a mistake, you have to redo it immediately and no questions asked.”

Tsai can handle the pressure.

He learned from master chef Julia Child, one of the very first cooking show television hosts.

Long before that, Tsai inherited his cooking skills from his family.

”Hats off to my mom. My mom’s certainly the one who got me going first and my grandparents,” recalled Tsai. “I’m Chinese right, so we always cook growing up. My dad is a good Iron Chef cook. He’ll open up the cabinet and cook fried rice in two minutes.”

“Yeah, they all got game,” exclaimed Tsai.

Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, Tsai worked in his parents’ Chinese restaurant.

Now, he often visits them at Kahala Nui in Honolulu.

”My parents have always lived between here at Palo Alto and would go back and forth but ever since COVID hit and when they were here on their sixth month swing, they decided, we are staying.”

Since the Iron Chef competition in June, Tsai’s been busy raising money for the Dana Farber Cancer institute through sales of Ming Bings at Target.

Tsai says it’s a modern gluten free vegan hot pocket that he created after his wife was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2020.

”My wife had an illness. She’s 100% fine right now. But through that, we felt it was best to go vegan. It’s good for your body, your mind and soul and that’s what we strongly believe. You are what you eat.”

Wait until you hear what Tsai’s cooking up at the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival in November!

Listen now to the rest of our conversation on the Muthaship podcast on our website or search for Muthaship wherever you download podcasts.