Bestselling author and celebrity chef Katie Chin took a leap and changed her life

Chef Katie Chin

Chef Katie Chin

featured celebrity chef

Asian Women Trailblazers

“Leap and a net will appear” is her favorite piece of advice—as long as it’s paired with this one: “Don’t ever dream harder than you work.”

When one door closes, climb through the window because there’s always another way to get things done.”
— Katie Chin
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA, August 10, 2022 / -- Katie Chin grew up working in her family's basement, making food for her mom’s catering business, gritting her teeth, and wishing she was hanging out with her friends. She vowed she’d never go into the food industry, and instead headed for Hollywood, where she became a successful marketing executive. Her mom, meanwhile, was building a restaurant empire that she eventually sold; she was catering events for celebrities; she was throwing a fundraising concert with Prince. All this after immigrating to Minneapolis from China in 1956, starting work as a seamstress making 50 cents an hour, and having six kids in an arranged marriage. And what she really loved to do was cook.

After making an authentic Chinese lunch for her sewing clients, Katie’s mom, Leeann Chin, started getting requests for cooking lessons, then a local socialite asked her to partner with her in launching a restaurant. Katie Chin, meanwhile, was enjoying success in her own right, during her 14 years in the entertainment industry. However, one evening when she wanted to plan a dinner party, she realized she had lost her cooking skills and wanted them back. Her mom taught her to cook again, through a series of dinner parties with Katie’s friends and colleagues. When one of them said, “You guys make this look so easy, you should do a book together,” Katie had a revelation. “I saw an opportunity to create a mother-daughter culinary brand and to change my life,” she recalls. “So I quit my job as a senior VP at Fox, I left my then-husband, and I changed my life completely. Then she and I did all these wonderful things together, so that’s how I got into this business again.”

When her mom passed away 13 years ago, Katie discovered how much of their success was based on her mom’s reputation. “I tried to get a book deal on my own and it became very clear that I had just been riding on my mother’s coattails. This was before social media so it was harder back then to create a presence as a brand in the traditional route,” she explains. “But I realized I’ve got to do the work. And so I opened up her first cookbook, I cooked all the recipes on my own, and that was really, really humbling. With that, I was eventually able to get my own book deal. I always also like to say, ‘Don’t ever dream harder than you work.’”

Read much more of Katie Chin’s story—including how She ended up being a featured celebrity chef at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House under the Obama administration, in the compelling new book Asian Women Trailblazers Who BossUp, a collection of intimate, inspiring interviews with Asian women who have broken the mold, overcome obstacles, and have a wealth of advice to share. Katie’s fifth cookbook, Katie Chin’s Global Family Cookbook, is available wherever books are sold or at Follow her on social media @chefKatiechin.

About the Women Who Boss Up Book Series

Whether you’ve been bossing up for a while or you’re looking for support on your boss-up journey, the Women Who Boss Up book series is your chance to take inspiration and advice from women just like you. These women come from all backgrounds, all walks of life, and all disciplines—STEM, healthcare, finance, coaching, nonprofits, and much more. You’ll read about women who left Corporate America to pursue their dreams of business ownership, women who faced seemingly insurmountable challenges but learned how to move forward, women who followed their intuition to create lives of fulfillment and financial success, and much more. Learn more at

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