Melissa Miranda has been named one of the 11 best new chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine for her work at Musang, the acclaimed Filipino bistro on Beacon Hill.
“I am excited, stunned, shocked,” Miranda said of the honor that was announced on Monday morning. “Just being Filipina and representing Washington state and Seattle, those things are really exciting. …I can’t wait for my parents — when they find out, and how excited and proud they will be.”
Brady Ishiwata Williams, who is now at Tomo, and Mutsuko Soma of Kamonegi are two other Seattle chefs who have made Food & Wine magazine’s prestigious best-new-chef list in previous years.
Miranda, 37, started Musang as a pop-up while working as a sous-chef at nearby Bar del Corso restaurant before opening her brick-and-mortar space in January 2020. Her restaurant includes traditional and playful takes on Filipino food, such as fried chicken thighs with gravy — an homage to the popular Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee. Since Musang opened, Miranda’s star has been on the rise — she was a James Beard Award semifinalist in the Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific category this year.
In naming Miranda to its list of best new chefs of 2022, Food & Wine magazine praised her “deeply seasonal and local Filipino cooking” and credited her for making Filipino food inclusive for all dietary restrictions with dishes such as a vegan version of bagoong, a condiment typically made from fermented fish or shrimp paste.
It was already difficult to score a dinner reservation at Musang before this latest national accolade. Now, it will likely become an even more coveted meal. (Psst. You can easily score a seat if you are willing to eat at the bar, where it’s first come, first served.)
Miranda is currently working on opening Kilig this winter, a 30-seat, fast-casual spot in the Chinatown International District that will focus on two comfort foods: the beef soup bulalo and wok-fried pancit noodles.