Michelle Mah

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Michelle Mah (born 1975) is the chef de cuisine of The Slanted Door in San Francisco, California, U.S. She has been the executive chef at several prominent San Francisco restaurants and her recipes featured on television. She was born in Korea.[1]


Mah was born in Seoul, Korea and when she was 3, her family moved to Southern California.[2] Mah, who went on to the California Culinary Academy after graduating from UC San Diego (UCSD), where she majored in ethnic studies,[3] got her start in cooking at home. Both her mother and grandmother were cooks, and her father also cooked Korean dishes at home.[4]

Although she worked in hotel kitchens during college in San Diego, she got her start in San Francisco restaurants at Moose's as a pantry cook. She completed her externship from CCA at the Turtle Bay Resort on the Caribbean island of St. John's, gaining cooking experience, returning to San Francisco to cook at Jianna and then with Paul Arenstam at the now-closed Belon and at Grand Cafe.

In 2005 Mah stepped in to captain Kimpton's Ponzu restaurant and was named one of San Francisco Chronicle's "Rising Star Chefs" of 2006 along with Corey Lee of French Laundry and Mike Yakura of Le Colonial.[3] Ponzu is a restaurant which serves upscale Asian cuisine and Mah served as the executive chef and the pastry chef.[5][6] Mah told Nation's Restaurant News that she studied and researched different recipes before she felt comfortable developing her own vision for Ponzu which incorporated some Korean cuisine.[4] The Today Show described her approach to Asian cuisine as "Asia without a map."[7]

In 2008, she left Ponzu to join Midi restaurant which opened in the Galleria Park Hotel in San Francisco, where she worked as the executive chef.[8][9][10] The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that Mah's recipes at the restaurant, this time based on European cuisine, "creates a fantasy voyage."[11] In 2010, Mah left Midi, hoping to start working at an independent or her own restaurant.[12]

Mah started working at the Brixton in 2010.[13] In 2011, Mah joined Charles Phan’s Slanted Door Group to head up Wo Hing’s General Store,[14] a Southern Chinese street food inspired restaurant. In 2012, she transferred over to The Slanted Door, where she heads the kitchen.

Mah was part of an event in coordination with the Asian Art Museum when the "meat shaped stone" was on display in 2016. Chefs, including Mah, created unique pork-belly recipes at their restaurants.[15]



  1. ^ Michelle Mah About.com
  2. ^ "Quick pasta and salad dinner from Chef Michelle Mah". 6 ABC Philadelphia. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  3. ^ a b c Morgan, Miriam (29 January 2006). "RISING STARS 2006 / Michelle Mah". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  4. ^ a b Berta, Dina (19 March 2007). "Michelle Mah adds a modern twist to tradition at Ponzu". Nation's Restaurant News. 41 (12). p. 40. Retrieved 5 July 2017 – via EBSCOhost. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Shea, Erin J. (1 October 2006). "Tempting Teacups". Restaurants & Institutions. Retrieved 5 July 2017 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ Gold, Amanda (7 March 2007). "RISING STAR CHEFS 2007 / Where are they now?". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  7. ^ Lempert, Phil (31 May 2006). "East meets West (coast) with a short ribs dish". TODAY.com. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  8. ^ "The Inside Scoop: San Francisco's Cortez, Pescheria sold; Perry's closes". SFGate. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  9. ^ Wandell, Deb (22 March 2009). "Opening: Midi in San Francisco". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  10. ^ "Wo Hing General Store ceremoniously opens on Valencia". Inside Scoop SF. 2011-10-28. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  11. ^ Bauer, Michael (14 June 2009). "Rising star Michelle Mah alights at Midi". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  12. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo (2010-09-29). "Joie de Vivre takes Midi in a new direction; Mah out". Inside Scoop SF. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  13. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo (2010-11-18). "The Brixton lands a pair of Midi vets: Chefs Michelle Mah and Jon Hara". Inside Scoop SF. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  14. ^ Lucchesi, Paolo (2012-02-29). "Rising Star Chefs: Class of 2006". Inside Scoop SF. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  15. ^ Cascone, Sarah (2016-06-15). "Taipei's Fabulous Meat-Shaped Stone - artnet News". artnet News. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 

External links[edit]

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