For chef Shuai Wang, heritage cooking has always been a journey. "I was never a great student, so I kind of just fell into the culinary world," he says. His family immigrated from Beijing to Queens, in New York, when he was nine, and though traditional Chinese food was central to his home life, it took many years before he embraced it as a career. Instead, in his early twenties, the chef transitioned form architecture classes at the Art Institute of New York City to the school's culinary program, and went on to cut his teeth in restaurants across the city. His focus, however, was never the Chinese cuisine of his childhood; instead, Wang worked to master the styles of other traditions, eventually landing a gig as chef de cuisine at Chez Sardine, a Japanese izakaya where he met his now-wife, Corrie, a young adult novelist and fellow veteran of the restaurant industry.
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