The next star of the show is no stranger to the camera.
Season six of PBS’s Mind of a Chef was announced last week and it will star chef Danny Bowien of San Francisco and New York City’s Mission Chinese Food. While the Korean-born and Oklahoma City-raised Bowien might not be a household name to all, he already has a ton of on-camera experience, having made appearances on a slew of TV shows and digital series. Here are five videos to help you get to know Bowien ahead of the next season of Mind of a Chef.
Danny Bowen on Vice’s Munchies
Munchies—at this point just a Vice web series rather than its own website—was one of the first places to shine a light on Bowien’s unique style and story. This video from 2013 takes viewers inside the original Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco’s Chinatown, when it was still operating as a pop-up within an operating Chinese restaurant. Throughout the night, Bowien and his buddies drink heavily, eat their way through nighttime San Francisco and give viewers a taste of their approach to Chinese cuisine.
The New Yorker's "A Day with Danny Bowien"
Taking place just after the opening of Mission Chinese Food’s New York location in 2014, this short shows Bowien visiting Chinatown markets for both ingredients and inspiration before heading to the restaurant to work on the menu. “For me, I didn’t know what I wanted to do next," he says. "I was turning 30 and so I thought the biggest challenge for me in the world would be to open in New York City.” Three years later, Mission Chinese Food is going stronger than ever and it continues to be a favorite for locals and food-centric visitors alike.
Danny Bowien on Charlie Rose
In 2016, Bowien sat down opposite Charlie Rose to explain his connection to Americanized Chinese food and how it differs from the actual food of China. As Bowien explains, he grew up in Oklahoma City with the typical, deep fried, sweet and sour sauce-doused American-style Chinese food that we all know—and he assumed it to be similar to real Chinese food. As an adult, he learned about the diversity of regional Chinese cuisine, which sparked a deep interest in Chinese food as a whole.
Danny Bowien on Martha Stewart
Danny Bowien counts Martha Stewart as one of his biggest fans. He appeared on her daytime talk show in 2014 to make hand-pulled noodles.
Danny Bowien cooks with Mark Bittman
Another one of Bowien’s earliest champions was Mark Bittman, then at The New York Times. Bittman hosted Bowien on his web series to make Thanksgiving Pastrami, perfect for those who have simply had it with turkey. The look on Bittman’s face, both as he sees the cross-section of the pastrami for the first time and as he tastes it, lets the viewer know that whatever Bowien is doing, he’s doing it right. As Bittman proclaims, “you just can’t get pastrami this good in New York anymore.”