The Truth About Sam Kang From Top Chef Season 19

Season 19 of Bravo's "Top Chef" premiered on March 3 and things are already heating up. There are a few new twists to the cooking competition hosted by Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio this season: The all-star judging panel used because of Covid in Season 18 is still in place due to fan popularity (via Variety), and chefs are allowed to bring homemade ingredients to use in competitions as well as request specialty ingredients from production (via Bravo). Of course, there is a new cast of chefs who will be competing in this season that viewers are excited to meet.

One of those chefs is Sam Kang. According to Bravo, Kang lives in Brooklyn. Though Kang hasn't appeared on "Top Chef" before, his name might sound familiar because he got his start working for the two-Michelin starred restaurant Momofuku Ko, headed by celebrity chef David Chang. When Kang first got to New York in 2010, he had just $700 to his name and a dream of working in the restaurant industry. He got his first cooking job at Momofuku, but Kang didn't stop there.

Sam Kang has worked at multiple Michelin-starred restaurants

Working for David Chang at Momofuku is a pretty remarkable first cooking job in a new city, but Sam Kang's next gig was even more impressive. In 2012, he started working at the three Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park under chef Daniel Humm, who has also appeared on "Top Chef" in the Season 16 "Restaurant Wars" episode (via IMDB). Kang later went back to Momofuku and helped Chang open up two new eateries, The Bar at Ko and Wayo (via Bravo).

Prior to joinging the "Top Chef" cast, Kang was focused on teaching cooking classes over Zoom and on educating kids about food and cooking (via Kang's website). He even offers cooking classes for parents and kids to take together. There's no way to predict how far Kang will get in the competition, but with his passion for inspiring kids to get interested in cooking, he'll likely be happy that he can share his mission with the "Top Chef" audience no matter how far he goes.