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2016.037.018 Oral History Interview with Cara Stadler 2015/10/01

Cara Stadler is a third-generation Chinese American chef. She was raised in Massachusetts and grew up biracial in a predominantly white community. Stadlers love of food began during her childhood, when her mother would make a wide variety of Shanghainese dishes. While Stadlers culinary education began in her mothers kitchen, her career experience started in American restaurant kitchens. She worked under Marsha McBride at Cafe Rouge in Berkley and then Striped Bass in Philadelphia. As her passion for food grew and she realized she wanted to pursue a professional career in the culinary arts, she moved to France to hone her fine dining skills. Stadler studied the artistry and technical precision of French cooking while working at Guy Savoy and Gordon Ramsays Au Trianon Palace. Afterwards, she worked in different parts of East Asia including China and Singapore. During this period she launched the prive fine dining service Gourmet Underground in Beijing. Stadler returned to the U.S. in 2011 and collaborated with her mother to open her first restaurant Tao Yuan in Maine. They also later opened Bao Bao Dumpling House together. Stadler credits food for reconnecting her to her Chinese heritage. She expresses excitement at the growth of ethnic foods in the United States, noting that the American public is increasingly open to foreign foods and flavors. Stadler also underscores the importance of sustainability and ethical ingredient sourcing in the food world, and she adds that she hopes to contribute to positive changes in the industry.