Ming grew up in Harbin, a city in the far north of China. At age 5, Ming began her training as a classic Chinese ink and brush painter and was soon recognized nationally as a painting prodigy. She received her BA and MA from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, and an MFA from the Yale School of Art. She designed the limited edition artist book Chang Yuchen - Snake and Others, now a part of the permanent collection at the MoMA Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Yong Zhao | Co-Founder, CEO
Yong grew up in Panjin, northeast of Beijing. He attended the Yuanpei School at Peking University and earned his MESc at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
In the co-founding years, Yong first called his mom, the bing expert, to learn how to make Chun-bing. After many sleepless nights of R&D with Chef Lucas and the team, the Junzi bing recipe was born.
Wanting Zhang | Co-Founder, Head of Business Operations
Wanting grew up in Beijing, received her BA at Peking University, an LLM at the Boston University School of Law, and MESc at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
Andrew Chu | Operations
Andrew is one of the earliest team members of Junzi, with experience in hospitality operations and retail alongside his BA and MBA at Southern Connecticut State University. He’s a Connecticut native, avid snowboarder, and lover of all things fried chicken. On our After Hours menu, General Chu’s chicken is named after Andrew.
Eva Zhang | Operations
Eva is in charge of Junzi’s procurement and supply chain. Eva grew up in Liaoning, China. She started at Junzi focusing on recipe development and kitchen management, now she is devoting herself to source the best quality produce and products to each and every Junzi Kitchen location. Eva received her BA in business school from Shenyang Normal University, and received her masters degree from Fort Hays university. She is an amazing home cook and a foodie exploring culture and life through food.
Lucas Sin | Chef, Culinary Director
Lucas Sin opened his first restaurant when he was 16, in an abandoned newspaper factory in his hometown of Hong Kong. Despite spending his Yale undergraduate years in the Cognitive Science and English departments, Lucas spent his weekends running restaurants out of his dorm, known as Y Pop-up. He backpacked and cooked his way through Japan, before settling at Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto. He’s also spent time at Modernist Cuisine in Seattle and Michelin-starred kitchens in Hong Kong and New York.
Beyond the bings and noodles at Junzi Kitchen, Lucas also directs the funkier, more indulgent After Hours menu: fried chicken, instant noodles, juicebox cocktails, and the like. His monthly personal project is a no-longer-secret, collaborative tasting menu exploring the narrative of contemporary Chinese cuisine, which we call Chef’s Table.
Fernando Piasarolo | Director of Restaurant Operations
Fernando leads all Junzi operations by way of Boston and Brazil, with experience in hospitality training, new restaurant opening, and management, all in the fast-casual food space. He was previously VP of Operations at Cheeseboy and Director of Training at Panera Bread. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston University.
Tatiana Da Silva | Operations
Tatiana comes from Boston and Brazil, and heading our Junzi Columbia location, with a background in restaurant management and restaurant crew training. She received her BA from Universidade de Mogi das Cruzes.
Fiona Zhu | Director of Business Intelligence
Fiona received a BA from Peking University, Master of City Planning from UPenn, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She is a former Associate at Goldman Sachs, and Data Scientist for Yale Medical Group. She also brings her background in Urban planning and statistics to the role of Director of Business Intelligence at Junzi.
Grace Zhang | Business Intelligence
Grace received BA of Finance from Hong Kong Baptist University, and a Masters degree in Food and Economics at the University of British Columbia. Prior to Junzi, Grace was an analyst for Huadian Corporation and involved in the Pacific NorthWest LNG project in Canada. She’s also fond of fashion, art, and live music.
Justin Udry | Marketing & Technology
Justin is the youngest member of the Junzi team and a recent graduate of Columbia University, where he received his BA in History. Born in Seattle, nursed in Taipei, and raised in Wisconsin, he loves experiencing new cultures, especially through food. Justin moonlights as a saxophonist, writer, and late-night food aficionado.
Nicky Chang | Head of Design & Strategy
Prior to joining junzi, Nicky worked as an architect at Skidmore Owings & Merrill in New York; her clients include global hospitality groups such as JW Marriott, Grand Hyatt, Andaz and Waldorf Astoria. For 2 years, Nicky ran a secret dinner club that connects young chefs to hungry designers from her Manhattan apartment, titled “table for six”.
Nicky studied Art History and Economics at Williams College, architecture and urbanism at Columbia GSAPP and sustainable design at ETH Zurich, before receiving her Master of Architecture from Yale.
Xuhui Zhang | Director of Real Estate Development & Architectural Design
After meeting the junzi team at Chef Lucas’s pop-up restaurant in 2014, Xuhui was invited to design the first Junzi store in New Haven. Three more stores later, he now leads the architecture design and real estate development team at Junzi. Xuhui earned his B. Arch from Tsinghua University, and M.Arch from Cornell APP. Xuhui worked at Pei Cobb Freed in New York; his team led both architecture and interior design of the award-winning 7 Bryant Park, which later became the US headquarter of Bank of China.
Ruoyin Zheng | Special Projects
Ruoyin has international relations, event coordination, and research experience, previously working in finance and customer relations in Connecticut and Hong Kong. She received a BA from Peking University and a Master’s from Yale University. She can also speak several languages, including French, Russian, English, and Chinese.
Zhihua Liu | Accounting
Born in Fujian, China, Zhihua came to the U.S. in 2011 to complete his BA at Southern Connecticut State University. He majored in Accounting and minored in Mathematics, and continued to pursue an MBA at CSU. He is an avid cat lover and guitarist.
Dustin Tong | Design
Dustin grew up in Hong Kong. He received his MFA from Yale school of Art. He has worked in Houston and New York as a designer. Dustin’s interests in design range from Chinese type design to creative coding. He is a part time faculty at Parsons teaching interaction design.
Shawn Li | Business Intelligence
Shawn (Shuaichen) received his BS at Peking University and MS at Columbia University. Prior to joining junzi, Shawn was an engineer and laboratory researcher. His current passion involves R programming and Chinese food.