In this 2021 TEDxSeattle talk, MelissaMiranda shares her experiences with a broken, abusive restaurant industry, and her dreams of a better way of leading—through kindness, community and compassion.
When Melissa started her own restaurant in January 2020, she envisioned a new business model centering around collaboration and empowerment for her employees. The pandemic proved to be a test of her new community philosophy—a philosophy that resulted in a thriving restaurant, proving that what is good for people is also good for business.
00:37 The realities of traditional Chef culture 3:50 Finding a different way to run a kitchen 6:43 Leading with mutual respect and empowerment
More to Explore: Discover Musan, Melissa’s Beacon Hill Restaurant musangseattle.com/ Learn about Little Wildcat’s, Melissa’s hands-on children’s cooking program: musangseattle.com/little-wildcats Try out her recipes in Bon Appetit: bonappetit.com/gallery/melissa-miranda-filipinx-pantry-recipes Meet Melissa Miranda: Part restaurant owner, part chef, part storyteller, educator and counselor. Through Musang, a Filipino restaurant in Seattle’s Beacon Hill, Melissa not only pays tribute to childhood flavors and memories, she also serves a path to change.
Melissa opened Musang in January 2020—that is right before the COVID pandemic. While some may have written the launch off as bad timing, Melissa chose to embrace change. Through hard work, some smart pivots and her tight-knit community, she pulled her business and all who were counting on her through.
It’s change that got her here in the first place: She embraced it when she moved to Italy to go to culinary school. She later adapted to the fast-paced life of New York City’s culinary scene before returning to Seattle, her hometown, to kick off Musang as a pop-up restaurant.
Part of Musang’s perseverance can be attributed to Melissa’s outlook. Ever inspired to create new, better work, she believes that Musang can be more than a restaurant: It’s also a community space, free meal program, and most importantly, a personal tribute to Filipino cuisine and childhood memories. Melissa is also more than a restaurant owner and head chef: She’s a storyteller, educator, and at times even a counselor to her staff, her guests, and the children she teaches at Little Wildcats, Musang’s children’s cooking program. With Melissa’s values at the center of everything she creates, community and resilience remain the driving forces behind Musang. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at ted.com/tedx