Chef Chris Cheung is a New York City native and grew up in the heart of Chinatown on Mott Street. He was brought up around great Cantonese food and culture and this is where he undoubtedly picked up his affinity for Asian cuisine. He studied cooking at the New York Restaurant School and graduated with honors. Right out of school he started working with Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Vong, the first upscale Thai restaurant of its time. From there he went on to open Nobu in TriBeCa where he was part of the original kitchen staff, cooking with Morimoto Masaharu, “The Iron Chef”, and helped them earn 3 stars from the NY Times. He also was part of the opening kitchen staff at Jean-Georges and contributed to their 4 star NY Times review, cooking alongside Wylie Dufresne and Dider Virot.
“I feel blessed to have started my career cooking with such iconic chefs. Working in their 3 and 4 star kitchens certainly inspired me, and taught me to respect the craft.” – Chef Chris Cheung
Cheung soon became an established chef in his own right. He received 3 stars from the Daily News for his menu at Thai Grille, and 1 star from the NY Times as Chef De Cuisine at Celadon. He then joined the BR Guest Group and took over the Ruby Foo’s kitchen as executive chef. He worked closely with Steve Hanson and helped to open the second Ruby Foo’s in Times Square. He later opened his own restaurant, Tiger Blossom, which showcased his unique style of Asian cooking. William Grimes, the NY Times food critic wrote, “[Chef Cheung]…uses the cast expanse of Asian cuisine as a palette of exotic colors.” Cheung then took over the kitchen of the world famous Monkey Bar and created a modern Chinese menu.
His inspiration of Chinese cooking took him to Shanghai where he cooked banquets in the nearby farming and fishing villages. Here he learned the nuances of Shanghai cuisine, and was inspired by its farm to table and sea to table style of cooking. “In China I cooked what we picked from the farm that morning, killed our own chickens, and what we fished from the sea that day. There was only one pipe for water, no light fixtures, and none of the food ever saw the inside of a refrigerator. It was amazing.” When he returned to New York, he started working with Chef Lam, a Hong Kong Dim Sum master who took him under his wing and taught him Hong Kong styles of cooking of which the late great Josh Ozersky called “some of the best Chinese food in Manhattan.” This led him to be Anthony Bourdain’s guide to all three Chinatowns in NYC on the hit show, “No Reservations”.
He has competed on “The Food Network Challenge”, as well as Esquire Channel’s “Knife Fight”, and was a guest judge on “Chopped”. He is featured in the Museum of Chinese in America’s Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy exhibit and was presented by the museum with the YPX Award for excellence in his field.
He formed “Asian Food Mafia” with today’s most outstanding Asian chefs to have an influential voice in the evolution of Asian cuisine.
He is the chef and partner of Tansuo in Nashville, Tennessee where he explores Chinese cuisine through the eyes of the night markets of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Chinese-American styles of cooking, showcasing his inspirations of Chinese cuisine in one of the brightest food cities in America. He is also the chef and owner of East Wind Snack Shop with locations in Brooklyn and SoHo in NYC.
The top critics love his cooking.
”Absolute best dumplings in NY” and “Best cheap eats” NY Magazine
“Borough’s best dumplings” Edible Brooklyn
“An homage to the neighborhood” NY Times
“Brooklyn’s best (Bao) buns” BK Magazine