Chef Simone Tong’s road to ICE began at her mother’s restaurant in Chengdu, China, while on summer break from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where she was studying Economics and Psychology. At the time, she was just translating for the chef, but it gave her a first-hand glimpse of the passion, dedication and care that goes into each dish. When she returned to her studies, she also began hosting large dinner parties for her friends and professors. It wasn’t until 2009, when she saw wd~50 along with its chef-owner, Wylie Dufresne, featured on a television program, that she decided to take her newfound passion for cooking into the professional realm. She decided the best path toward working with the innovative chef was to enroll at the Institute of Culinary Education. Immediately after graduating, she landed an externship at the acclaimed restaurant, and proceeded to be hired and work with Chef Dufresne for several years, at both wd~50 and his next venture, Alder. Her next steps were a stint at 15 East, near Union Square in NYC, studying the art of sushi under Masato Shimizu, followed by seeking culinary inspiration through extensive travel. She eventually landed in Yunnan Province, which served as the inspiration for her first restaurant, Little Tong Noodle Shop, which opened in march 2017.
- Institute of Culinary Education, Culinary Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management, 2011
Specialities/Areas of Interest
- Yunnan Province Chinese Cuisine