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Chef Ming Tsai Heats Up the Kitchen at Macy’s Ala Moana

When I got word that Chef Ming Tsai was going to be in town to do a cooking Demo’ this past Tuesday at Macy’s Ala Moana, the very first thing I thought was, “I just HAVE to be there so I can hear a FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT from the man himself about his run to become the Food Network’s ‘Next Iron Chef’.

As you’re probably aware by now, Chef Tsai was eliminated from this season’s ‘Next Iron Chef’ in last weekend’s airing of the Las Vegas episode titled “Seduction” on the Food Network. He was eliminated, along with female Chef Celine Tio, where according to host and food science-meets-cooking show exraordinaire Alton Brown, Chef Tsai was “simply outcooked”.

Which of course you probably have your own opinion and/or theory on that verdict, as well as I do, and BELIEVE ME I do, as I’ve been a fan of Chef Tsai ever since his days when he had his own ‘East Meets West’ show on the Food Network way back when.

Well, sure enough, it didn’t take long into his demonstration that he started making little references and jabs here and there over his loss on ‘The Next Iron Chef’.

At the end of the demonstration, he opened up a brief Q & A session with the audience, where I was fortunate enough to be picked by Chef Ming, and I intently took the opportunity to ask him the question, “Do you care to do any more venting over The Next Iron Chef?”. Well, this hot topic was obviously still a thorn in his side that he so badly wanted to get out of his system and talk it out, and that he did! He took over 7 minutes and the remaining time he had left to answer my question, which you can watch for yourself in Part 8 of the  segmented video series I posted on YouTube and provided below.

Note, I recorded Chef Tsai’s entire demonstration this past Tuesday evening at Macy’s Ala Moana (over 1 hour’s worth… whew!) hand-held (no tripod) using a non-HD still camera in movie mode, so there’s some shakes here and there as I either repositioned myself and/or my arm began feeling fatigue and twitched. Yet for the most part I kept it pretty stable.


Chef Ming Tsai Cooking Demo’ at Macy’s Ala Moana – Part 1 of 8:

Chef Ming Tsai Cooking Demo’ at Macy’s Ala Moana – Part 2 of 8:

Chef Ming Tsai Cooking Demo’ at Macy’s Ala Moana – Part 3 of 8:

Chef Ming Tsai Cooking Demo’ at Macy’s Ala Moana – Part 4 of 8:

Chef Ming Tsai Cooking Demo’ at Macy’s Ala Moana – Part 5 of 8:

Chef Ming Tsai Cooking Demo’ at Macy’s Ala Moana – Part 6 of 8:

Chef Ming Tsai Cooking Demo’ at Macy’s Ala Moana – Part 7 of 8:

Chef Ming Tsai Cooking Demo’ at Macy’s Ala Moana – Part 8 of 8 (this is the segment where he answers my question regarding his run on the Food Network’s ‘Next Iron Chef’:


12 thoughts on “Chef Ming Tsai Heats Up the Kitchen at Macy’s Ala Moana

  • November 19, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    That is a surprise!
    I’ve been a fan ever since his cooking show was on and still on PBS and had a great time with Ming at the convention in 2000 signed my apron and had a great dinner in Blue Ginger his restaurant. Ming even came out of the kitchen to my table sat and talked, posed for photos and autograph his book for my departed wife that she smuggled in without my knowing.

  • November 19, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Wow, mahalo for showcasing the event on your blog site. I hosted the event, but of course was busy serving throughout the evening, so it was great to be able to go back and be able to catch everything !

  • November 20, 2010 at 6:24 am

    You really have an excellent blog here. Your diligent work is much appreciated.

  • November 20, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Well I watch his show on Sichuan food. I was not happy he went to a well known Sichuan Restaurant and mention while chef was cooking use MSG in his dish. Chinese restaurants is trying hard clear up image of using MSG in cooking. Many inform on menu and signs No MGS. The side effect of MGS can be very bad to certain people,

    I was one of them. Not sure how he feel of MGS but for sure he would not use it in own restaurant but his family restaurant maybe still.

  • November 21, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I was disappointed that he was ousted before Forgione. Canora is just a whiner. Tell us though, since you saw him up close and personal: what’s up with the hair?

  • November 21, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Traci, um, I dunno’, what is up with Chef Ming’s hair? It appears to be his natural “do” to me. If there’s anything I can say that’s different about him in person vs. TV is that he’s much thinner… because, you know the saying that the camera adds about 10 lbs. to a person. But really, in person he appears in pretty decent shape for his age; especially considering that he himself proclaims that he “loves to eat”.

    Richard, interesting topic on MSG. I just dined at a Korean restaurant that implicitly stated on their menu that none of their dishes use MSG. Supposedly MSG creates that “addictive” factor in foods such as snack chips, and also causes other symptoms such as headaches and nausea. I’m curious whether MSG and/or Sodium Nitrite/Nitrate (commonly used as a preservative in sausages) could be a cause of cancer or other vital organ problems.

    Pat, glad to hear you enjoy it. Mahalo!

    DD, you did an excellent job. The only thing folks were complaining about, is that there was too much retail merchandise blocking the area and taking up what limited space there is in front of Macy’s kitchen demo’ area. Next time, I’d suggest clearing out that entire area of merchandise so that the audience has the maximum amount of floor area to squeeze into and get a view of the presenter.

    Ken, yeah, Ming is really down to earth and approachable in person. Very cool guy. In all due respect, I must ask: I don’t get the part where you said Chef Tsai autographed his cookbook for your departed wife while she “smuggled in”?

  • November 21, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Hi Pomai,

    WOW, WOW, WOW, what a show. Thoroughly enjoyed his presentation of the 3 dishes. The Chef has great delivery, personality, and charisma.

    1) describe the 3 dishes that were being delivered to the audience, please.

    2) how do you think he handled the question that you posed to him.

    In addition to the 3 dishes, we enjoyed parts 6, 7, and 8, and the topic on angio-genesis, we will be checking it out.

    Our thanks to you for posting this video for those of us unable to attend that function. Not to mention, we did not even know about his presence at the store.

    Again, thanks a bunch for going thru the trouble of shooting the event (great shooting, credits to you) and posting to your site.

    We are great fans of your site and follow you daily, so keep up the great work.


  • November 21, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Hilo Rain, I had two opportunities to try the samples of each dish he prepared, but refused them because I literally had my hands full holding the camera to video tape. Keep in mind, they’re all directly from his new cookbook ‘Simply Ming: One Pot Meals”, hence came across to me at least as being, as advertised, simple.

    As for how he handled my question of “Do you care to do any more venting on ‘The Next Iron Chef’, he was surprisingly blunt about Chef Canora, while I wish he had more time to address the judging and the judges themselves, along with the “politics” of the Food Network. Personally I think he should have been an Iron Chef America Chef from day one, before they even had a competition show on attaining that title.

    Thanks for reminding me about the website he referred to regarding angio-genesis, which he was very passionate about and spent a good amount of time explaining. Gotta’ check it out.

    Glad you enjoy the site. Mahalo to you folks out in Hilo! That’s my parents’ home town. There, and Kohala.

  • November 22, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I don’t really care for Ming Tsai he has a big head!

  • November 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I was there! I’m such a big fan of Ming I wouldn’t miss it for anything. The food was great – and I got my book signed. I think they under estimated his popularity because there were just people EVERYWHERE. I got there at approx 415pm so the line wasn’t too long, yet. Book signing was also cut terribly short and I was stuck at the end of the line but luckily I was able to get it. No posing pictures, but the overall experience was worth it!

    Thank you for posting videos – I’m glad others can see it. He’s very talented in what he does, and it shows! I’m bummed about the Next Iron Chef but he has so much success already. :)

  • November 23, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Aloha Pomai,

    Big fan here born and raised Honolulu but now in Colorado. Faithfully read your blog and post some entries to FB for all of the rest of my homesick (especially when it comes to food) friends…Thank you so much for the videos. I never knew he was so funny!



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