A Big Change

Hello Friends!

If you followed me on Facebook yesterday, you saw that I announced that “Big changes coming up….stay tuned for more details!!”. Well the time has finally come to share what that big change is :).

As some of you may know from my Facebook and Twitter posts, I have been working with the people at the Monkey King Noodle Company on and off over the past few weeks. The shop opened its doors only three weeks ago, and I have been helping out part-time, helping to expedite, streamline the execution of the product, tweak the recipes, interact with the customers, and also manage their social media. Andrew and the rest of the owners saw the value I added to the organization, and soon they were in talks to bring me on to more of a full-time leadership/managerial role.

They finally put together an offer, and today, after talking with the owner of the Kessler, I formally accepted the offer. My last day at the Kessler will be on November 2nd, for the Oak Cliff Music Festival. Between now and then, there will be a transition period where I will be slowly phasing myself out of the Kessler while training a potential replacement (if you are interested, contact me!). If you haven’t been to the Kessler yet and had a chance to try my famous Pork Belly Sliders and Crispy Brussels Sprouts, hurry up before it’s too late!

At the Monkey King Noodle Company, I will be the Head Chef/Kitchen Manager. I will have executive control of all the day-to-day kitchen operations, managing inventory, testing new products, standardizing recipes, staffing, and every other responsibility that comes with running a small, startup restaurant that has aspirations (and honestly, REAL potential) to become an empire. It’s a lot of responsibility, and I will get a small pay bump, but perhaps more importantly, in addition to the base compensation, I am being offered an equity plan that will allow me to have an increasing ownership stake in the business as well. This is HUGE for me, and if the MKNC lives us to the potential it truly has, then this could be my “big breakthrough” so to speak.


So tonight, I am drinking a big glass of one of my favorite wines and celebrating what the future holds for me. I am grateful to all the opportunities that the Kessler provided, and in fact the owners of the MKNC and I originally crossed paths at the Kessler a few months ago as my customers. However, those of you that are close to me and have talked to me personally understand that I feel the time has come to move on, and this opportunity seems to be the perfect fit for me to move forward in my career. Right now, I drink to my future at the MKNC, and I hope you will join me in wishing us the best of luck moving forward.

If you are in Dallas (or anywhere in Texas, really), come visit me at the MKNC! I honestly think that we have the best soup dumplings in town, our dumplings are absolutely killer, and you can’t get noodles any fresher than ones that are hand-pulled before your eyes. I think we have a great product, and under my leadership, I am confident that we can run a successful operation that gives Dallas the authentic, delicious Chinese street food it has been missing.

Please show your support by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter to get the skinny on the latest happenings. I can’t wait for y’all to see what we have in store :).



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About Michael Chen

A contestant on season 3 of FOX's MasterChef! Tune in on June 4 and 5 at 9/8c to watch me compete in the top 100 home cooks in America!
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8 Responses to A Big Change

  1. Leah says:

    Elif mabrook, a thousand congratulations from Oman!! Once the restaurant becomes an empire, make sure to open a branch here is Muscat!!

  2. Denise says:

    Congratulations!!! This opportunity sounds absolutely huge. When you start to expand, please come to Philly. The restaurant sounds amazing. Good luck. Can’t wait to hear more in the future.

  3. Maggie says:

    Well…this is almost as good as having a blind date with a Top Chef Contestant! love ya and wish a million happy waves from th white cat of luck.

  4. Won-Yi Lin says:

    Hey! Way to follow your dream! I know you don’t know me that well, you may not even remember who I am anymore lol, but we went to the same school and had the same piano teacher at one point… Haha. Anyways, I wanted to take the time to congratulate you on a successful journey. I wish you all the best and I know you will do VERY well in this position.

    • Michael Chen says:

      Hey Won-yi! Yes, I remember/know who you are :). Hope you are doing well!

      • Won-Yi Lin says:

        :-) yep. I’m sending people your way lol! Anybody I know whose going/currently in Dallas. Never had your food before but from what I’ve heard around town and saw on TV, u seem to be THE cook to watch out for! I can’t wait to go check out the restaurant- now if only I can make my way to Dallas…..

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