Chef & Partner, Little Tong Noodle Shop, New York, NY
Culinary Arts, Restaurant & Culinary Management, 2011
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 comes with 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 to work alongside the innovative chef was to enroll at the Institute of Culinary Education in 2010. 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 extensive travelling to seek culinary inspiration. She eventually landed in Yunnan Province, which would become the focus of her first restaurant, Little Tong Noodle Shop. Opening in March 2017, the restaurant has already garnered a following for its mixian (rice noodle) bowls.