September 16, 2021

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Cooking is a hobby

St. Louis Mourns the Death of the Famous Owner of Chef Ma’s Chinese Connoisseur

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  • &#13 &#13 MABEL SUEN&#13 &#13
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  • &#13 Chef Ma will be remembered for his remarkable restaurant, Chef Ma’s Chinese Gourmand.&#13
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The St. Louis food items scene has misplaced one particular of its greats: Chef Ying Jing Ma, identified as “Chef Ma,” died on August 5. Ma leaves driving a legion of enthusiasts who came to know him for his culinary prowess more than the a long time, most not long ago at his Overland cafe, Chef Ma’s Chinese Gourmet (10440 Website page Avenue, Overland 314-395-8797).

A representative of Chef Ma’s Chinese Connoisseur confirmed Ma’s passing to the Riverfront Moments, nevertheless they did not supply any information out of regard for his family. The consultant emphasized that the cafe has continued to function considering that Ma’s passing and that, even in their grief, his personnel are fully commited to continuing his legacy and program to continue to keep the cafe open up, as he would have required. &#13
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A veteran chef with a lot of accolades (like his most prized award for a version of Iron Chef in Austin, Texas), Ma was regarded for his broad appeal to the two diners in search of excellent Chinese American fare as nicely as people wanting for regular Chinese dishes. He received his get started more than 40 years back in his native Hong Kong with Marriott Accommodations and opened attributes for the brand name about the globe in these kinds of locations as Singapore, Malaysia, Hawaii, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Ma arrived in St. Louis in the early 1990s to work for Mandarin Household, wherever he ran the iconic restaurant’s large banquet operation for a number of a long time. &#13
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In 2015, Ma struck out on his very own, opening an unassuming restaurant, Chef Ma’s Chinese Connoisseur, in a former Taco Bell in Overland. There, he attained a status for anything from his superb fish stew (which wasn’t often on the menu, but when it wasn’t, he would deliver it out on request), to 2 times-cooked pork, black pepper beef, pumpkin brown butter shrimp and his household speciality, Hainan hen. His mastery of flavor and intense motivation to perfection was obvious in every thing he did, even in ubiquitous American-design and style dishes like incredibly hot braised rooster and Mongolian beef, whose sauces he insisted on cooking from scratch. Even when he moved the restaurant to its existing spot in Overland just a handful of months in the past, he hardly ever wavered from his dedication to putting his ideal into all the things he did. &#13
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Joel Crespo, operator of Guerrilla Avenue Foodstuff and normal visitor at Chef Ma’s Gourmet Delicacies, remembers Ma as one of the very best cooks in town and an unsung genius in the city’s food scene.&#13
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“He was so ambitious and a beast of a prepare dinner,” Crespo states. “He had two menus — a single a lot more of your regular Chinese takeout menu and one particular that was additional authentic Chinese — and no subject irrespective of whether he was undertaking orange hen and crab rangoon or Hainan hen and pumpkin shrimp, he would execute it with the exact same perfection and regularity, and he would nail it each individual time. It was usually contemporary, and I feel like he did it so simply. Living in which I stay, there are hundreds of good Chinese dining establishments with various kinds, and as much as I adore so quite a few of them, whenever an individual would inquire where was a very good Chinese location to go, I would constantly suggest Chef Ma’s.”&#13
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For Crespo, Ma’s greatness extended past his abilities as a chef.&#13
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“Each time you went there, it was him touching all the food items and undertaking all of the cooking, no make a difference what working day of the 7 days it was,” Crespo says. “He’d always be doing 5 issues — flipping woks and plating up dishes — but he would see you, and he would be personable and try to remember you and try to remember aspects of your lifetime. I will bear in mind that stage of kindness. He was not just a masterful cook dinner he was a variety man or woman.”&#13
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Crespo also knows that kindness extended to the workers at Chef Ma’s.&#13
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“My coronary heart goes out to his loved ones and to the people today at the cafe,” Crespo claims. “It appeared like they have been a shut-knit team, and I know how that is — no matter if they are true loved ones or restaurant loved ones, which is a special partnership, and I know how considerably they are hurting. I want them energy and peace.”&#13
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A visitation for Ma will be held on Wednesday, August 18 from 10 a.m. right until noon at Valhalla Cemetery and Funeral Chapel. As for the restaurant, it continues to run with its ordinary several hours, and his personnel options to do so indefinitely. While grief-stricken, the agent from the restaurant describes that it is the greatest way they know to honor the man who dedicated his existence to generating the world a much more tasty location.&#13
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We are constantly hungry for recommendations and suggestions. Email the author at [email protected]

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