How to Eat, According to This Year’s Food Lab Chefs

How to Eat, According to This Year’s Food Lab Chefs

It’s happening. Multi-hyphenate Bravo Top Chef winner, Melissa King is taking over the Seaport Food Lab kitchen for Season 06 of the annual experimental dinner series, presented by Chase Sapphire®. Joined by former competitors turned friends, chefs Mei Lin and Silvia Barban, King is hosting this year’s event over three nights in November at the Tin Building’s private Tasting Studio—an inviting and cozy space designed by uber-cool New York architects Roman and Williams.

The theme? A spicy-salty-creamy-crunchy mashup of New York’s favorite cuisines: Chinese and Italian. Calling on the three chefs’ Cantonese-slash-American-slash-Italian childhood kitchens, guests can anticipate a delightfully surprising menu that ticks all the boxes. Think Szechuan peppercorns meet handmade pasta and an undeniably genius take on XO sauce with a prosciutto-y twist. 

As the trio gear up for their takeover, we spoke to them for a food-centric round of quick fire questions. Read on for the tasty bits. 

Describe this year’s Food Lab menu?
Melissa King: “Flavor-packed, creative, and kind of prosciutto-y. Is that a word?”
Mei Lin: “Nostalgic and craveable.”
Silvia Barban: “Sweet, savory, and spiced up.”

Best childhood food memory?
MK: “Eating dim sum with my grandma every weekend.”
ML: “Being together with my family around the holidays.”
SB: “Waking up to the smell of ragu cooking on Sundays.”

Cooking playlist?
MK: “Madonna, Whitney Houston, and a little Mariah Carey.”
ML: “Migos, Drake, and something hype-y.”
SB: “Lucio Battisti.”

Most underrated food?
MK: “Rice.”
ML: “Hot dogs.”
SB: “Colatura di Alici—an Italian fish sauce made from anchovies.”

Most overrated food?
MK: “Caviar, truffles, and gold leaf.”
ML: “Pizza, because I’d rather have a hot dog.”
SB: “The kale situation is out of control.”

Best cooking tip you’ve received?
MK: “Be okay making mistakes. That’s part of cooking, and also part of life.”
ML: “If you think it’s seasoned, it’s probably not.”
SB: “Shock your vegetables after boiling them.”

Noodles or pasta?
MK: “Noodles all the way—sorry Silvia!”
ML: “Noodles.”
SB: “Pasta, pasta, pasta.”

Ravioli or dumplings?
MK: “I’m not going say no to either, but dumplings!” 
ML: “Dumplings.”
SB: “I will always choose ravioli.”

Sweet or savory?
MK: “I like both because I’m a Libra and we love options.”
ML: “Savory.”
SB: “Savory is the right choice.”

Drink of choice?
MK: “Sparkling water or tea—I’m an old lady.”
ML: “Oolong tea.”
SB: “Negronis.”