2019 New York Rising Star Chef Simone Tong of Little Tong Noodle Shop

2019 New York Rising Star Chef Simone Tong of Little Tong Noodle Shop
January 2019

Little Tong Noodle Shop
177 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
littletong.com

Photos

Born in Chengdu, China, Simone Tong spent her childhood moving between different locations in the Eastern hemisphere, including Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. In 2002, she moved to the United States to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied studied economics and psychology. Her first taste of restaurant life occurred  between semesters, when she was working as a translator for her mother’s restaurant in Chengdu. In 2009, she saw an episode of Daniel Boulud’s television show “After Hours with Daniel” and was blown away by an interview with Chef Wylie Dufresne of legendary wd~50. Seeing how cooking could combine science, art, and a visceral, whimsical love of food, Tong immediately moved to New York City and enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education.

Following her plan, Tong secured an externship with Dufresne and worked at the restaurant for four years before moving to sister restaurant Alder. In summer 2016, Tong embarked on a three-month culinary and research adventure through Yunnan province. She returned with an idea for a Yunnanese noodle restaurant and opened Little Tong Noodle Shop in the East Village that fall. She has since earned two stars from Pete Wells in The New York Times and opened a second location of Little Tong in Midtown in summer 2018.