About

Note: I’m ALWAYS willing to support a great cause. If you’d like to get in touch with me, please find my contact information HERE.

Hello! My name is Michael Chen, and as I’m sure you know by now, I was a contestant on Season 3 of FOX’s MasterChef. I’ve also recently come out to my friends and family, amid mixed reactions as I was raised in a conservative Chinese Christian environment.

I was born in Shanghai, China, and moved to Austin, TX when I was 3. Being almost 20 now,  Austin is where I’ve lived for the better part of 16 years, save for a brief stint in College Station for one semester of college at Texas A&M until MasterChef changed my life forever.

I had to give up everything I was taught to value in order to pursue my dream. The security of a college education. A promising career in the high paying meteorology field (one of my professors had predicted that I would be a “hot commodity” in the field). My new friends that I had just gotten to know. My parents’ financial support. My self-esteem, as being a good student was really the only thing I was ever good at. Has it been worth it? So far, it has, but in the long term only time will tell.

I believe in food as artistry, not just nourishment. Being so young, I know that I have a lot to learn. My dream one day is to open a restaurant utilizing a farm-to-table philosophy, where care has been taken every step of the way to ensure the highest quality food. I believe in eating food not only with the mouth, but the eyes as well. I believe that a balance of flavors, textures, and colors is necessary to compose a complete dish.

When I came back from MasterChef, I worked a few shifts doing some prep work at the Jalopy, one of the top food trucks in Austin. Since then, I’ve had the honor of staging at the now-famous Barley Swine, under Bryce Gilmore. Recently, I’ve also been helping out in the kitchen at the legendary Uchiko for a few weeks. In October of 2012, I worked as the Chef de Cuisine of a small, authentic Vietnamese restaurant in Canada (the owner wants me to keep its identity private). In March, 2013, I started working as the Executive Chef and Kitchen/Catering manager for the Kessler Theater in Dallas, TX. Hopefully this list will grow with many more wonderful experiences in the upcoming few months and years.

In spite of my passions and ambitions, my greatest hope in life is to touch and connect with people in meaningful ways. To me, heaven is a place where love always wins. That day cannot come soon enough.

11 Responses to About

  1. braveapron says:

    Go Michael!!! What an inspiring bio. So thrilled we got to share time together on Master Chef- a life changing experience on so many levels. Can’t wait to see you on the big screen!

  2. gene m says:

    Hey Michael !!
    Just saw you on Masterchef, killer dumplings !!! Will be watching you on Masterchef ,all the best :)

    Gene

  3. nady o says:

    Good to see you representing Austin! Being from UT-Austin myself, I’ll tell you you’re not missing much by putting A&M on hold :P Nah, just kidding. I wish you the best of luck!!

  4. PBCliberal says:

    You are excellent on camera (http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/18704888/michael-chen-cooks-up-pork-dumplings-on-good-day), which probably has as much to do with your selection as an MC3 finalist as your cooking. The pop-culture TV reality shows are strange ducks, as your recent writings suggest you’ve discovered through your MC3 experience.

    Think about the character arcs the producers want, versus what really happened during acquisition, and you’ll realize these shows aren’t much different from soap operas. It’s too bad your character didn’t survive longer, but you lasted long enough to make a lot of us very proud of you.

    You would have been a good meteorologist, but did your mentor also reveal that the weatherman job description at most television stations these days means you also spend a good deal of your time dedicating new elementary schools and judging county fair talent shows?

    Have you considered hosting a cooking show? People who aren’t afraid of a camera and microphone are much rarer that you might think; it is a way you could exercise your passion and your talent at the same time!

    • Michael Chen says:

      Sorry, this got filtered as spam! Hosting a cooking show would be fun, but I don’t know how viable of a career choice it would be plus I have NO IDEA how to get started. Some MasterChef contestants get offers from production companies to do shows, but I haven’t been approached yet and don’t really think I will be.

      And even in meteorology, I told my advisors that I DEFINITELY did not want to be an on-camera meteorologist haha. Funny how being on a TV show can change things….

  5. Madhav says:

    in the show where he commented that your dehsis are honest and st8 from your heart’. By the way, u still keep in touch with ur best mate on the show, Michael? I cant hold back my tears hearing all those nice words u guys had for each other during the top 6 elimination challenge. Anyhow, wish you all the best in ur future undertakings. You rock

  6. yimeng says:

    hi chen ,i just saw you show in MC,you do a good job! I am a chinese student who study in italy,best wishes from here~~~~~AUGURI~

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