Meet FSR's 40 Under 40 Rising Stars | Food Newsfeed
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Meet FSR's 40 Under 40 Rising Stars

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By FSR Staff March 08, 2018 Research
Melissa King, 33

Chef & Owner | Co+Lab | San Francisco

Most chefs who train in Michelin-star kitchens under luminaries like Ron Siegel and Dominique Crenn go on to open their own restaurants. But Melissa King has blazed her own totally unique trail in foodservice.

After studying at the Culinary Institute of America and working in kitchens for eight years, King decided she wanted some more balance and variety in her life and went independent. That at first included a partnership with Kitchit, a tech platform that matched chefs with private cooking opportunities, and later the foundation of her own pop-up dinner series, Co+Lab.

“One day I can be in a kitchen training chefs, another day I might be developing recipes in front of my computer at home, and another day I might be demoing at a food festival or on a speaking panel,” she says. “I feel really grateful to have supportive people in my life cheering me on to accomplish more and more each day.”

The Co+Lab project, which King founded after she placed as a finalist on Season 12 of “Top Chef,” focused not only on hyper-local ingredients, but also other local artisans whom she involved in the events. The Co+Lab pop-up dinners are on hiatus, but King has plans to expand the brand. In the meantime, she serves as a brand ambassador for Whole Foods Market, through which she helps promote sustainability and high-quality ingredients while also developing creative flavors and ideas. She also hopes to eventually open restaurants, write cookbooks, and even start a nonprofit. As King says, “It’s only the beginning.”

Susan Yee Photography
These Rising Stars are helping redefine expectations for the restaurant industry.