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Action and Ambition

Dec 24, 2020

Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Philip Lanos.

Chef Ming Tsai, a world-renowned Chinese-American chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, James Beard award winner, Emmy Award winner, and host of the longest-running cooking show on PBS, today announced the highly anticipated launch of his first consumer packaged food product, MingsBings. MingsBings are vegan, gluten-free, food allergen-friendly, contain 6 grams of protein per Bing, and are available for purchase nationwide.

You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!

How is it going in the world of restaurants these days? (0:21)

  • Ming states that the restaurant industry has disseminated. COVID hit the restaurant industry particularly hard. The statistics are horrible, with 50 to 75% of moms and pops in the country will not reopen. 
  • Ming says that he has been one of the casualties; he had to pull back into downtown Boston, a proud food pantry, through May 30. For three months, all they did was feed all unemployed restaurant employees, especially the Latino and African American demographics in Boston. 
  • These communities have a lot of people working in the restaurant industry under the radar, and that means they don’t receive unemployment checks or bailouts. This is the worst crisis caused by COVID aside from the deaths and effects. There are about 20 million people in the restaurant industry.
  • They can go into doing takeout, but it is not enough to sustain restaurants. They have to have the government step in, and Ming is not sure the new government will do so soon enough.  Ming says they need upwards of billions of dollars to help restaurants right now. 
  • Ming states that he was lucky his entire livelihood does not rely on one restaurant, but that is not the case for most common moms and p[ops owners. It’s the mom in the front, the dad in the back with the kids working the dishwasher, so when you take that away, you are taking away their whole life. 

How big is MingsBings at the moment? (11:04)

  • Someone once told Ming that hard work brings good luck. He is not sure it is true, but so far, it has worked out for him. He says it is why he launched MingsBings. He had established the company about a month before COVID hit. 
  • Ming was not aware at the time that restaurants would be closed down. He says it was just serendipity. He had been working on the project for a couple of years already, and he was lining up people for the positions, and finally launched just 30 days before COVID. 
  • The idea came from the belief that food is medicine always being in Ming’s DNA and that you indeed are what you eat. It also comes from the Asian diet. Ming is Chinese. He took a ribeye steak as an example, which would feed one in America. In China, one steak could provide eight people because they would add a bunch of plants and garlic and ginger, and suddenly the meat is not the center of the meal anymore. 
  • Everyone knows that vegetables are better for you and the earth. No one can argue that a plant-based is not better than a meat base. Ming stresses that we have one world and global warming is a real thing. Ming considerers himself a science guy and therefore believes in all these scientific facts. 
  • Ming considers it like Gravity; just because you don’t believe in it does not mean it is not there. Eating more plant-based meals is a path to enlightenment. Ming is not telling people not to eat meat, but rather try and have plant-based meals a few times a week to help sustain the earth. 

Where do Ming’s values and philosophy come from? (18:41)

  • Ming states that it comes from his parents and grandparents and that he is blessed that he got to know all four of his grandparents. His paternal grandparents are Chinese, but they lived in Dayton, Ohio. 
  • Ming and his parents used to go to them at 5:30 every Friday night to have dinner. It was ming’s highlight of the week. They would make homemade dumplings, they grew their chilies to make their hot sauces, and they even did their own hand-pulled noodles. 
  • It is one of the biggest reasons why Ming decided to be a chef because he is still and will always be hungry. He has always hung around the kitchen, and he would always have scraps thrown at him. 
  • He liked the fire, smoke, and knives and thought about how he wanted to do it too. He remembers an expression his father and grandfather always used to say and which Ming practices religiously is if you are the right person, you will have good fortune. 
  • But you cannot expect good fortune for being the right person. You need to be a good person only without expectations, and the rest will follow. You cannot be a good person if you are only doing it for the fortune. It is about your intention. 

Mings Bings

Ming's Bings tell many stories. Not only are they delicious, but they are a true superfood. They are loaded with everything nutritious and in the hands of a real chef, the meal which families cannot stop eating.


Connect with Ming: Instagram

Ming’s Bings: Website

Connect with Phil: LinkedIn1