B randon Jew, head chef and owner of San Francisco’s most popular Chinatown restaurant, Mister Jiu’s, never planned to cook as a career. In fact, he kind of stumbled into the kitchen by happenstance. “[In college] it was the only job opening in that area, and I didn’t have a car, so I just kind of went for it,” Brandon tells us. “I started as a busboy and then I became a food runner. One day one of the cooks didn’t come in, and the kitchen manager asked if I’d be willing to help out for the night. I did, and they offered me a job in the kitchen.”
So how exactly does a busboy end up becoming the chef/owner at a Chinese restaurant that earned a Michelin star in just six months? Simple: an unwavering focus on tradition. Mister Jiu’s sits in an unassuming yet iconic location in SF’s bustling Chinatown, a building constructed in the 1800s which once housed one of Brandon’s favorite childhood restaurants. The menu leans heavy on traditional Chinese dishes that are fused with locally sourced ingredients from Northern California, and the result is what many have called one of the best restaurants in the country.

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