Ming Tsai Tells Us What His Future Holds In The Restaurant Industry - Exclusive

Chef Ming Tsai is a bona fide renaissance man of the food world. He's got a decades-long career in food TV — most notably his appearances on "Iron Chef" and his long-standing PBS show, "Simply Ming" — he's written numerous cookbooks, and he's won prestigious awards for his restaurants Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon. More recently, Tsai launched his own line of plant-based pockets, MingsBings, available in thousands of grocery stores and a growing number of stadiums and arenas around the country. While his career spans all ends of the food spectrum, his ultimate passion remains constant: to bring delicious, nutritious, and interesting food to as many people as possible.

Currently, he's moved on from restaurant cooking to focus fully on his line of MingsBings, which is growing successfully. But what's next for the chef? Will the formally trained culinarian ever put on his executive chef's hat again? We got the details.

Speaking exclusively with Tasting Table, Chef Tsai opened up about his future in the restaurant industry — specifically, about whether he's got any plans to open another restaurant. And he didn't mince words. "In the immediate future, no," admitted Tsai. He went on to detail where his current passions lie and what he's pursuing for his next chapter of East-meets-West cuisine.

Ming Tsai wants to bring bings to the masses

While Ming Tsai says he doesn't see himself at the helm of a fine dining restaurant in the foreseeable future, he's got plenty of plans to keep cooking. Currently, you can still catch him in his restaurant element as the chef partner at Baba, bringing Asian-inspired decadence to the Yellowstone Club in Montana. "It's an amazing place to be. My wife and I love the mountains, and I'm there four months out of the eight months we're open."

But for the rest of the year, Tsai is focused on growing his bing business. That may well be the way he finds himself back in the kitchen full-time. "I do see in my future some type of smaller footprint kiosks that can sell bings, in an airport, in a college environment," he told Tasting Table. Think a Chipotle or Sbarro-style fast casual eatery, but you can build your own bings. "Six different flavored bings, six different sauces, unsweetened iced teas ... I do see something like that."

However, "a full sit-down type restaurant ... I don't see it in my immediate future," Tsai confirmed — tentatively, that is, because the chef will truly never say never. As he put it, "As my dad and grandfather always preached to me, listen to every opportunity, because you don't know 'til you know. If someone shows up with a big briefcase of cash, you've got to listen." Until that magic money appears, Tsai is content to pursue his plant-based dreams and make healthier food attractive and accessible to as many people as possible.

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