2019 Philadelphia Rising Star Sustainability Winners Judy Ni & Andy Tessier of bāo • logy

2019 Philadelphia Rising Star Sustainability Winners Judy Ni & Andy Tessier of bāo • logy
March 2019

Judy Ni was not supposed to work in restaurants. The daughter of Taiwanese immigrants with multiple postgraduate degrees, Ni was expected to follow a similar path, but she always dreamed of opening a restaurant rooted in her family’s Taiwanese recipes. After college, Ni started a career in consulting, but couldn’t stay out of the kitchen, staging in local New Jersey restaurants in the evenings. To (lovingly) sabotage her daughter, Ni’s mother connected her with a family friend who owned Chinese-American restaurants in north Jersey. She asked the friend to make Ni’s experience as difficult as possible, but Ni’s passion couldn’t be squashed and she ended up loving it.

During this time, Ni met her now husband Andy Tessier, a chef who was cutting his teeth in New York and New Jersey kitchens. Tessier, who began cooking at 14 in his native Vermont, originally used the restaurant industry to support his musical ambitions, touring in punk and hardcore bands. The pair joined forces under two culinary behemoths: Daniel Boulud, at Daniel, DBGB, and Boulud Sud, and Dan Barber at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. 

In 2012, they moved to Philadelphia to work with Blue Hill and Rising Stars alum Josh Lawler at Farm and Fisherman. In 2017, the pair opened fast-casual Taiwanese bāo • logy—sustainable, healthful, community oriented, and flat-out delicious. Since, Judy has co-founded nonprofit HospitalityTogether, reimagining how a modern student pursues higher education and builds a career in hospitality.