NEW YORK, NY :: CHEF JUSTINE MA // chef, recipe tester, food writer, food event planner, food critic, food somebody

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I almost made it an entire year without cutting myself in the kitchen… but it happened, and it happened today.

I was brushing up on my garnishing skills in class when my paring knife pierced through a very ripe tomato and into my palm.

I didn’t scream. I didn’t cry. I just looked down, assessed the situation, and then I put pressure on my cut.

I kept thinking… did I just puncture my vein? I have to cook for 100 people this week so the bleeding has to stop…

120 seconds later, I was fine. With my arm above my head, I slapped on some triple action ointment and went straight back to work.

As I approached my station, I was thinking about how far I’ve come since my first day of culinary school. At the beginning of the program I publicly stated that I only applied to culinary school in order to support my food writing; my goal was to become a “jack of all trades” in the food media industry, however as my graduation nears, I am confident that my experience cooking at the James Beard Foundation and my culinary diploma will give me the edge I need to become a food somebody (yes, a specialist) in this industry.

  • Communication is my forte and I am not shy when it comes to voicing my opinion about food
  • I create flavorful dishes based on the ingredients and my personal database of taste profiles
  • I know how to enhance a dish by adding the right amount of sweet, tart or spicy
  • And most importantly, my palate is able to identify the elements within the dish, and my culinary brain understands the reason why they were put there and that made me realize my credibility…

So I guess it’s about time I admit that I am a Chef. Chef Justine Ma. 


PS: In order to graduate from culinary school, I am responsible for creating a 3 course vegan meal for 100 guests with five other teammates. My team and I have spent the past three months planning for this dinner which will be happening this Friday, May 3, 2013… stay tuned!

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  • Cheers to Chef Justine Ma then! Well done.

    And, no need to say but: good luck for this friday!
    Have fun!!

    • littlemisslocal

      Grazie Claudio! This will definitely be a once and a lifetime experience to remember! Prepping starts today, yay!