Season 11: New Orleans
Current Residency: Orange County
Occupation/Profession: Chef/Partner, Twenty Eight
Born and raised in Beijing China, Shirley Chung was exposed to international cuisine at an early age by her grandmother, Liang Si Yi, former Director of The Red Cross in China. She immigrated to America at age 17 for college and worked in Silicon Valley for a few years after graduating. Chung decided to follow her passion for food so she left her career in high tech behind and enrolled in culinary school. She is trained in classic French and Italian cuisine, worked and opened restaurants for Thomas Keller, Guy Savoy and Mario Batali. After she opened CarneVino as Chef de Cuisine for the Batali group, CarneVino earned multiple awards for Best Steak House internationally. Prior to being a finalist on season 11 of Top Chef in New Orleans, she held the Executive Chef Position at China Poblano, by Jose Andres, which was nominated for the Best New Restaurant Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2011. While working at China Poblano, she fell in love with Mexican cuisine and learned more about her own heritage. In 2014, Chung opened Orange County restaurant Twenty Eight, which she describes as modern American cuisine with a Chinese soul.