Chef Profile: Michelle Mah


Michelle Mah, Executive Chef of Joie de Vivre’s Midi Restaurant was born in Seoul, Korea and lived there until she was three years old. It was then that her family immigrated to the United States and put down roots in Southern California.  A career in the culinary arts wasn’t always in the cards for Michelle. While living in Southern California, she attended the University of California, San Diego, where she majored in Ethnic Studies, minored in General Literature and also had a focus in Photography.

From there, Michelle began working at Café Japengo and because of her love of the kitchen and guidance from chef Amiko Gubbins, she also began attending the College of Food in San Diego where she graduated with an A.O.S. degree.  Michelle then made her move to San Francisco where she attended the California Culinary Academy. Michelle worked in multiple restaurants throughout the city as well as an externship in St. John in the Caribbean before becoming the Executive Chef at Ponzu. It was there; at age 29 that Michelle was awarded the 2006 “Rising Star Chef” award by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Since that time, Michelle continues to be a super-star chef at our Midi Restaurant located right next door to Joie de Vivre’s Galleria Park Hotel in San Francisco.  Midi is known for its California inspired dishes with a French flair. Midi is also well-know for their desserts! In fact our very own CEO, Chip Conley has proclaimed more than once that the Pot de Crème is his favorite dessert in the city.  From now until September 15, Michelle and Midi are using their talents in the dessert world to fight cancer. My Fruit, My Body is an organization that promotes the powerful benefits of extract from peaches and plums in that they kill aggressive breast cancer cells. Because of this, one dollar from every Warm Yellow Peach Crumble Cake and Lemon-Vanilla Rice Pudding with Pluot Sauce will go towards an organization which helps fund free mammograms.  Who knew that eating dessert would help in the fight against breast cancer? Well, Michelle did and that’s just one more reason why she is the consummate star in our books.

What are some of your favorite desserts to make with peaches and plums? Let us know and be eligible to win a $50.00 gift certificate to Midi.


13 Responses to “Chef Profile: Michelle Mah”

  1. mary Says:

    my favorite plum dessert is my mother-in-law’s plum tart! i loved it so much, she passed the recipe on to me.

  2. Lisa Says:

    peach cobbler – yum!

  3. omar Says:

    Peach shortcake! everyone knows strawberry shortcake, but the peach variety is delish!

  4. david Says:

    have to go with peach cobbler!

  5. Kate Says:

    I’d have to say it’s peach cobbler…..yum!

  6. ignacio Says:

    Peach cobbler!

  7. Aurora Says:

    peachers and cream

  8. Emily Oestreicher Says:

    It looks like peach cobbler is a clear winner here!

  9. Julie Says:

    I promise I’m not copying… peach cobbler is soooo yummy!! I can’t think of a plum dessert but I’m sure it would be good too. 🙂

  10. Ian M. Says:

    For me it is a Plum Granitas… so tasty, easy to make and refreshing on a warm summer day. Though we’ve been short on those in San Francisco this summer.

  11. Emily Oestreicher Says:

    Congrats to Aurora, you’re the winner of the $50.00 gift certificate to Midi. Please email your mailing address to and we’ll send the certficate right over.
    Thanks to everyone for your comments!

  12. anne Says:

    Plum galette, and peach milkshake (my all time favorite!)

  13. eanov Says:


    […]Chef Profile: Michelle Mah « joie of life[…]…

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