Melissa King Plays ‘This or That’: What Are the ‘Top Chef’ Winner’s Favorite Foods?

Chef Melissa King has eaten a lot in her life and therefore has many opinions. Ramen or Pho? dumplings or buns? Rice or pasta?! The answer is impossible, but we let them choose.

King, the winner of All-Stars of Chefs: LA and a finalist Top Chef: Boston, is the cover of STYLECASTER’s November issue, The Culture Issue, which highlights food and travel experiences around the world. In honor of The Culture Issue, we played a game, This or That – King’s Choice, in which we asked King to choose between 13 impossible food scenarios. (Yes, even rice or pasta.)

In her cover story for The Culture Issue, King also explained how her background as a Chinese-American chef who grew up in California and was trained in French fine dining has influenced her cooking and career. “It took me many years to develop the Chinese side of myself. I grew up immersed in Chinese culture and traditions and food, but I never considered connecting the worlds until I had my first Top Chef season,” said King. “The show helped open up part of my identity and being proud to be an Asian American in this country and showcasing that type of cuisine on a plate. On “All-Stars” you see me diving in. I don’t apologize for that. You take this milk tea tiramisu from Hong Kong and you like it or you don’t like it.”

However, King’s kitchen wasn’t always like this. She explained that for most of her career she was confused about how to incorporate the flavors and ingredients she grew up with into her culinary education. “Growing up as a Chinese American, many felt torn by me,” she said. “As if I need to be more American in my lifestyle, but I also need to be more American in my cooking.” Now that she’s managed to combine the worlds, King wants to share her story through her food. “I want people to feel my journey of where I’ve been and who I am as a Chinese American trained in French fine dining but living in California. I want you to feel those layers when you taste my food,” King said. “But most importantly, I want someone to feel happy, nurtured and loved.”

Watch The Culture Issue with Melissa King here. Watch Melissa King perform “This or That – King’s Eats” in the video above.

Culture Edition Stylecaster Chase Sapphire

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