Star power is a rare attribute. But, every now and then, you meet someone who has it. Someone who is so enchanting and entertaining you can’t help but think, “Wow, the world NEEDS to know this person!” That’s what meeting Chef Patty of Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room is like. You want to steal her out of her Cambridge restaurant and take her to the closest open mic night; or, at least bring her to a bar with you, so you can look a little cooler in front of your friends. Honestly, LOVE. THIS. CHIC.
She’s charismatic, hilarious, and lights up the room and everyone in it. The woman has more charm than Alex and Ani! It’s no wonder CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies regularly invite her into their homes to teach them, “How to Make Dumplings,” as part of a team-building experience (and probably just for fun).
As a little girl, Chef Patty would help her mother make dumplings in the kitchen of their Taiwanese home. During the process of rolling and scalloping the dough, Patty learned from her mother the importance of hard work, patience, and having passion for what you do. That passion is visible in every statement Chef Patty makes; there is such joy in everything she does. She makes a beautiful teacher!
So, you can imagine how excited we were to spend an afternoon learning how to make dumplings from this passionate firecracker of a chef in her Central Square restaurant. And just when you think things couldn’t be anymore perfect, you meet Chef Patty’s husband, Chef Marc Shulman. Together, the duo are cuter than the word dumpling. (And we happen to think that’s a pretty adorable word.)
Married for almost 20 years, the couple met the good old fashioned way; in a bar. The lovebirds formerly owned and managed All Asia. (For anyone who follows the Boston music scene, you’d remember the Cambridge night club as a hot spot for fledgling acts.) In September of 2013, these cuties opened The Dumpling Room just across the street from their previously owned cult-status music venue.
And, in that time, they’ve built a dumpling empire, offering 26 varieties of the mouth-watering treats, and serving up to 2,000 dumplings a day. On special occasions, like Chinese New Year, that number can reach 3,000!
From gluten free to vegan, to the traditional pork, there is something for everyone. And, just to keep things interesting (and to help identify the different varieties) not all dumplings are shaped the same. You may be served a “money bag” shaped dumpling if you order Vegan, or a “Taipei Torpedo,” style if you go for Kimichi. No matter what the shape, we can vouch for the fact that they are all delicious!
Besides heading to Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room to chow down on copious amounts of dumplings and traditional tea, as we mentioned earlier, you can also hire Chef Patty to give a dumpling lesson in the comfort of your own home. This has the added benefit of being able to sub a glass of wine for a cup of tea every now and then. 😉
Patty’s dumping parties are a big hit in the corporate world. But, we thought a dumpling cooking lesson would also make a perfect GNI (Girls’ Night In) or even for a fun birthday party event. And our suspicion was confirmed after our lesson, learning to cook from these two is an absolute hoot! Besides being entertaining, it is clear they truly love what they do. And that our dears makes the entire experience worth it; being taught by two masters who love their craft is a special thing!
The dumpling party really is a fantastic way to connect with old friends or bond with new ones. Chef Patty will provide everything you need in a nicely packaged dumpling box. From a chef’s hat to an apron to a certification. You will then be ready to roll and stuff and finally enjoy the efforts of your labor with hearty laughs, and till-your-cheeks-hurt smiles.
Be sure to head over to Chef Patty’s Dumpling Room soon and give her a big hug from the Haute Mamas. Then, kick back, relax and watch a star in action. 🙂