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Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation. With the magazine we collect, enrich and spread inspiration. The free subscription magazine is published eight times per year and is an abundant source of inspiration for food and hospitality professionals. Our readers can be found in the U.S., Northern Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Traditional ways, new flavors

  4 min

VIDEO REPORTAGE

Spending an evening with chef Mei Lin over at Nightshade restaurant in Los Angeles is synonymous to being submersed in the cooking philosophy of this young female chef. Roots, travel experience and vision are combined in innovative dishes to share with the table.

Nightshade is the first restaurant for chef Mei Lin along with partners Cyrus Batchan and Francis Miranda of hospitality design company N°8. Nightshade draws from the culmination of Lin’s personal culinary history - from helping her parents and extended families in their Chinese restaurants as a child in Detroit, to her formal formative years on the line at restaurants owned by industry hotshots such as Michael Symons (Roast in Detroit), Wolfgang Puck (Spago in Las Vegas) and Michael Voltaggio (ink. in Los Angeles), to her extensive travels
around the world.

Frank Lindner   Sander van der Meij

 Frank Lindner  Wonho Frank Lee

 FRESH CREATIONS
“Ultimately, my aim is to recreate dishes I’ve come to love over the course of my career and lifetime, learning how to do things the traditional ways, but infusing new flavors and maybe some non-conventional techniques to achieve my ideal version of it”, says Mei Lin. “I’ll learn how to perfect the traditional and classical way to make something so that I have a firm understanding and respect for the process. Then I experiment to see how a new element to the process or a new ingredient might affect it differently, and work on it until it’s where I want it to be.”

THE ULTIMATE BUILD-UP
Every dish is shared by the entire table. Plates vary between 15 and 30 dollars, desserts between 15 and 18 dollars. The menu is suitable to be ordered in its entirety by a group of four. The dishes include deep-fried onion tom yum-style with yoghurt dip. Hokkaido scallops with coconut vinaigrette, crispy ginger and coriander oil. A congee of koshihikari rice, XO sauce, crispy shallots and pork floss. The meal begins with fresh dishes and builds up towards heavier courses at the end. And the desserts are innovative and staggeringly refreshing. One thing Mei Lin doesn't put in her creations, something some male chefs occasionally tend to do: too much ego.

YOUNG GUN, BEST RESTAURANT
Mei Lin is well known for her winning the title of Top Chef on Bravo TV in 2014. Previously, she had also won her episode on Esquire TV’s Knife Fight, and was selected as one of Eater’s Young Guns in 2014 and Zagat’s 30 Under 30 in 2015. Food & Wine named Nightshade the ‘Best New Restaurant 2019’, as did GQ stating Nightshade is one of the ‘Best New Restaurants in America 2019’. The prestigious LA Times gave Nightshade a positive review and dubbed it ‘one of LA's most interesting restaurants’.

Nightshade
923 E. 3rd St 109, Los Angeles, California
www.nightshadela.com
Instagram @nightshadela
Facebook

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.

 FRESH CREATIONS
“Ultimately, my aim is to recreate dishes I’ve come to love over the course of my career and lifetime, learning how to do things the traditional ways, but infusing new flavors and maybe some non-conventional techniques to achieve my ideal version of it”, says Mei Lin. “I’ll learn how to perfect the traditional and classical way to make something so that I have a firm understanding and respect for the process. Then I experiment to see how a new element to the process or a new ingredient might affect it differently, and work on it until it’s where I want it to be.”


Frank Lindner Sander van der Meij 

 HMSHost, Schiphol Group, De Verspillingsfabriek

Nightshade is the first restaurant for chef Mei Lin along with partners Cyrus Batchan and Francis Miranda of hospitality design company N°8. Nightshade draws from the culmination of Lin’s personal culinary history - from helping her parents and extended families in their Chinese restaurants as a child in Detroit, to her formal formative years on the line at restaurants owned by industry hotshots such as Michael Symons (Roast in Detroit), Wolfgang Puck (Spago in Las Vegas) and Michael Voltaggio (ink. in Los Angeles), to her extensive travels
around the world.

THE ULTIMATE BUILD-UP
Every dish is shared by the entire table. Plates vary between 15 and 30 dollars, desserts between 15 and 18 dollars. The menu is suitable to be ordered in its entirety by a group of four. The dishes include deep-fried onion tom yum-style with yoghurt dip. Hokkaido scallops with coconut vinaigrette, crispy ginger and coriander oil. A congee of koshihikari rice, XO sauce, crispy shallots and pork floss. The meal begins with fresh dishes and builds up towards heavier courses at the end. And the desserts are innovative and staggeringly refreshing. One thing Mei Lin doesn't put in her creations, something some male chefs occasionally tend to do: too much ego.

YOUNG GUN, BEST RESTAURANT
Mei Lin is well known for her winning the title of Top Chef on Bravo TV in 2014. Previously, she had also won her episode on Esquire TV’s Knife Fight, and was selected as one of Eater’s Young Guns in 2014 and Zagat’s 30 Under 30 in 2015. Food & Wine named Nightshade the ‘Best New Restaurant 2019’, as did GQ stating Nightshade is one of the ‘Best New Restaurants in America 2019’. The prestigious LA Times gave Nightshade a positive review and dubbed it ‘one of LA's most interesting restaurants’.

Offline: This content can only be displayed when online.

Spending an evening with chef Mei Lin over at Nightshade restaurant in Los Angeles is synonymous to being submersed in the cooking philosophy of this young female chef. Roots, travel experience and vision are combined in innovative dishes to share with the table.