Asia Mei, 34
Head chef/owner at Moonshine 152
Growing up in the heart of Silicon Valley, Asia Mei knew she didn’t want to be an office drone -- but cooking wasn't always in the picture. She got a degree in economics and biology while working as a stuntwoman in LA during the summer, but ended up skipping her graduation ceremony to search for a job in Boston that would teach her how to cook.
She landed an entry-level gig at Hamersley’s Bistro, and was sous chef by the time she left, four years later. Chef Mei now owns and acts as the executive chef at her soulful solo venture, Moonshine 152.
Do younger chefs today have a different approach to food, as opposed to older generations?
"There’s definitely more of an emphasis on making things more accessible to the masses -- good ingredients, creative dishes, just quality food. We are bringing these kind of values to neighborhood spots that might have not been considered before, with dishes and ingredients available on tasting menus at smaller places, that might have only been employed at black-tie restaurants. We’re making this food available for people, without making them spend their whole paychecks on one meal. I think people care more about food now, in some ways, and we are trying to fuel that."