“Happy cooks = Happy Food = Happy Customers”, a motto Chef Tim Ma subscribes to in creating the feeling of his restaurant Kyirisan. This mantra is apparent in the zen-like approach he’s implemented into his restaurant and overall dining atmosphere. Despite having an entirely different career as an Engineer in the Defense sector prior to going to cooking school, Chef Tim has managed to create a culture that lends itself to a content staff. It’s quite a challenge considering the stressful nature of grueling restaurant kitchen work that can take a toll on cooks both mentally and physically. His philosophy has been instrumental in his staff’s morale, and ultimately, his restaurant’s success. Chef Tim can pick and choose his dream team who fits well in the culture of end-to-end responsibility leading to a staff that can take pride in their work. His incredibly low turnover rate is testament to Chef Tim’s leadership and positivity-inspired culture.
From a broader perspective, culture is a great influencer of the menu. For Chef Tim, Kyirisan is a reflection of both his Chinese heritage and his training in French cuisine. By applying French techniques to various dishes, Chef Tim creates new twists out of old favorites. Whether by chance or by choice, Chef Tim is right in the middle of the food revolution that is currently taking DC by storm. As Chef Tim says, “DC is having a food moment.” We would agree; DC was recently named the best Restaurant City of the year for 2016 with extra attention from Bon Appetit and Michelin appointing 12 Michelin stars late last year.
Within the larger community, there is an Asian Street Food movement where Kyirisan fits snugly among modern Asian cuisine that blends with Filipino, Asian and Chinese cuisine.
It’s a good time to be in DC.
To read more about Tim Ma and his zero waste journey, visit Zero Waste Kitchen.
Tim Ma is a BlueCart user and advocate. For more information on being as efficient and sustainable as Tim, visit BlueCart.