Alma Kitchen’s Chef Gary Mui uses Chinese heritage techniques to blend into modern cuisine – CW50 Detroit

Southfield (CW50) – Chef Gary Mui was born and raised in Detroit, but found that his neighborhood and the surrounding city didn’t have many Asian American families, so he felt like he grew up with a more American, never seeing himself as different from anyone. other. As he neared the end of high school, he became more interested in his own culture and heritage and began to embrace his Chinese roots.

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Over the years, Mui has seen more and more members of the Asian American community come together to form a more cohesive and less dispersed community, bringing their culture, traditions, and voices to the forefront of change in Detroit. While discussing common misconceptions about the Asian American community, Mui pointed out that many view the Asian community as a passive and submissive community.

Mui went on to say, “That’s not true. I believe we all have a voice, and I think that shows more now with the Vote API and the ACA doing all these programs to help the Asian community connect.

Gary Mui’s father working in the restaurant industry

As for her journey in the restaurant industry, Mui described the importance of food in Asian culture and how food will always bring harmony and closeness within families. Mui’s father was also in the restaurant industry, and it was there that Mui found her love for cooking. His parents always pushed him and his siblings to become doctors or lawyers, but his interest in cooking overshadowed his focus on school.

Alicia Sanchez and Gary Mui, co-owners of Alma Kitchen in Grosse Pointe, Michigan

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Mui opened Alma Kitchen with Alicia Sanchez in 2019. They blended her Mexican heritage with Mui’s Chinese roots. The Michigan Good Food Fund provided funding in 2018 through the Detroit Development Fund to support Alma Kitchen in opening a new restaurant in the Jefferson/Chalmers neighborhood of Detroit.

He doesn’t use family recipes as much to create his dishes, but Mui uses the techniques and ingredients his mother and father instilled in him growing up to incorporate his heritage into modern cooking.

Jackie Paige, host of Community Connect, with Gary Mui, chef and co-owner of Alma Kitchen

Chef Gary Mui, co-owner of Alma Kitchen, joins Jackie Paige on Community Connect to discuss his Chinese heritage and how it helped him become the person and chef he is today.

You can learn more about Alma Kitchen at

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Watch Community Connection, Saturday at 7 a.m. on CW50

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