Danny Bowien (born James Daniel Bowien in 1982) is a chef and co founder of Mission Chinese Food and the Mission Burger in San Francisco, California. He is a 2013 James Beard Award winner[1] and won the Pesto World Championship in 2008.[2]

Danny Bowien
Danny bowien.jpg
James Daniel Bowien

1982 (age 36–37)

Bowien was born in South Korea and was adopted by a family in Oklahoma. He grew up wanting to be an eye doctor and learned to cook with his mother, before joining a rock band and moving to San Francisco at the age of 19.[3][4]

Bowien worked in several restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Italian restaurant Farina, which sent him to the Pesto World Championships in Genoa, Italy, where he won first place.[2][3] At age 26, he was considering quitting restaurant work when he tasted Szechuan food at San Francisco's Spices II restaurant, which led him to begin experimenting with Chinese flavors.[5][6]

Bowien worked at Mission Street Food and Mission Burger with Anthony Myint, who helped him to start Mission Chinese Food as a restaurant-within-a-restaurant.[3] Mission Chinese Food was named the second Best New Restaurant in America by Bon Appetit Magazine[7] and fourth Best New Restaurant in America by GQ Magazine.[8] In 2012 Bowien launched Mission Chinese Food in New York City.[9] In 2013, he opened a Mexican restaurant, called Mission Cantina, in New York.[10] Mission Cantina was closed 3 years later.[11]

He was nominated a 2011 Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle,[12] and he is also a 2012 and 2013 James Beard Finalist.[13] Bowien was nominated for other titles too, as Food and Wine, 40 Big Thinkers under 40,[14] and People best New Chef for California .[15] San Francisco Chronicle named him one of the Bay Area 30 under 30.[16]

In May 2013, Bowien was awarded the prestigious "Rising Star Chef" by the James Beard Foundation for his work in the Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco and New York City.[1]

In 2017, Bowien was chosen to be the main subject of the sixth season of the popular food and travel show The Mind of a Chef. It premiered on November 14, 2017 on Facebook Watch.[17]

In 2018, Bowien opened a new Mission Chinese Food location in Bushwick, Brooklyn in front of the independent music venue Elsewhere. [18]


  1. ^ a b 2013 James Beard Foundation : Restaurant and chef Awards : Rising Star Chef of the Year : A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come. Danny Bowien Mission Chinese Food San Francisco and NYC
  2. ^ a b "2008 Championship". Pestochampionship.it. Archived from the original on 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  3. ^ a b c Kauffman, Jonathan (September 8, 2010). "Mission Chinese Food offers a Matrix mind-twister of a meal". SF Weekly.
  4. ^ Cathey, Dave (May 28, 2013). "Danny Bowien comes to the aid of his hometown". The Oklahoman.
  5. ^ Late Night with Seth Meyers (14 November 2017). "Danny Bowien Cooks Up Some Spicy Chicken Wings for Seth" – via YouTube.
  6. ^ "Cycling around San Francisco with chef Danny Bowien". Food & Wine. December 19, 2017. When Danny talks about the genesis of Mission Chinese Food, he often evokes Spices II: Szechuan Trenz. The restaurant is one of the first places he encountered the distinct pleasures of Szechuan cuisine, and it inspired the chef to begin experimenting with the region’s flavors.
  7. ^ "The Best New Restaurants in America, 2011: In the Magazine". bonappetit.com. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  8. ^ Carolyn Alburger (2012-02-16). "GQ's Alan Richman Names Mission Chinese Food Among Ten Best New Restaurants of 2011". Sf.eater.com. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  9. ^ Fabricant, Florence (2012-02-13). "Mission Chinese Food Is Coming to New York — NYTimes.com". San Francisco (Calif): Dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  10. ^ Fabricant, Florence (2013-10-28). "Danny Bowien's Mission Cantina Opens Soon". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Dai, Serena (December 8, 2016). "Danny Bowien's Mission Cantina Closes After Three Years Of Shapeshifting". Eater NY.
  12. ^ Hu, Janny (2011-03-13). "Danny Bowien: 2011 Rising Star Chef". SFGate. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  13. ^ Carey Jones (2012-03-19). "James Beard Foundation Announces 2012 Finalists". Serious Eats. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  14. ^ "Anthony Myint & Danny Bowien: Charitable Chefs | Food & Wine". Foodandwine.com. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  15. ^ "The People's Best New Chef: California | Food & Wine". Foodandwine.com. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  16. ^ "Inside Scoop SF » Zagat unveils its Bay Area contingent of 30 Under 30". Insidescoopsf.sfgate.com. 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  17. ^ Dao, Dan Q. (November 16, 2017). "Bing-Watch the New 'Mind of a Chef' Episodes Featuring Mission Chinese Food's Danny Bowien". Saveur.
  18. ^ Adam Platt (2019-01-29). "At the Psychedelic New Mission Chinese Food, Get the Riblets". GrubStreet.

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