Neighborhood Kitchens

Meet Myers + Chang and Flour Bakery Chef Joanne Chang

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Chef Joanne Chang frosts a cake at Flour Bakery (Patricia Alvarado Núñez/WGBH)

Chef and restaurateur Joanne Chang's winding road to the kitchen was anything but traditional. An honors graduate from Harvard with a degree in applied mathematics and economics, Chang began her professional life in the corporate world, as a management consultant. She enjoyed her job, and found success at it, yet couldn't shake the feeling that it was just that—a job, not a long-term career. So, after a couple of years in consulting, she decided to quit at age 24 to pursue her true passion for baking.
 

Beginning as a garde-manger cook at Biba in Boston, Chang proceeded to work as a pastry cook at Bentonwood Bakery in Newton, then as pastry chef at Rialto in Cambridge. In 1997, Chang left Boston for New York, having accepted a position in the cake department at acclaimed Payard Patisserie and Bistro. A position at Mistral brought her back to Boston a year later, and she remained there until 2000, when she achieved her dream and opened her own Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston's South End.

Now, Chang divides her time between sweet and savory. Since opening her first bakery, Chang has opened three more Flour branches in Fort Point Channel, Central Square, and the Back Bay. She and her husband, Christopher Myers, also opened the restaurant Myers + Chang, inspired in Taiwanese and South Asian street food, in the South End, in 2007.

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Joanne Chang biking between her multiple restaurants. (Patricia Alvarado Núñez/WGBH)
Chang and her recipes have been featured in numerous publications, including Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, and Boston Magazine. Her sticky buns have also gained national fame, beating celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s in a blind taste test on Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network.

Aside from running her restaurant empire in Boston, Chang also reviews cookbooks, teaches classes at area culinary schools, and still finds time to burn off all those cake scraps (she ran every Boston Marathon from 1991-2006 and continues to bike between her five restaurant locations). She is the author of two cookbooks, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe and the forthcoming Flour Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Café's Most Loved Sweets and Savories.

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About Neighborhood Kitchens

Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

Saturdays at 4pm on WGBH 2
Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44


About the Author

On the Go

In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
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Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi

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