502 Bar & Bistro | Prospect, KY
A native of Taiwan, Ming Pu credits his mother for instilling in him a true passion for cooking. He learned the importance of utilizing only the freshest, seasonal produce the Asian markets had to offer from his time spent helping her prepare a home-cooked meal every night. At the age of 7, Pu and his family moved to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada where they lived for two years before making Louisville their permanent home in 1999. Along the way, the 27-year-old chef gained a diverse food vocabulary of Asian techniques and French ingredients that are evident today in his melting pot of New American cuisine at 502 Bar & Bistro. Before joining 502 Bistro, Pu attended culinary school at Sullivan University in 2009. During this time, he honed his skills in varying positions at restaurants in Louisville, including Volare, the Brown Hotel and Windsor Restaurant & Garden. He left the culinary program to work full-time at Asiatique under his mentor, chef Peng Looi. Among other things, chef Looi introduced Pu to fusion cuisine – a style of cooking that he immediately related to. Pu believes chefs shouldn’t be boxed into one style of cooking, a philosophy he practiced in numerous kitchens around town before becoming executive chef of 502 Bistro in 2016. For the past four years, Pu was the featured chef at the annual Lunar New Year dinner for the Asia Institute-Crane House of Louisville. In addition, he cooked at the James Beard House in New York City three times, spearheading two Young Gun dinners as the featured chef. He has also participated in the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, 2012 and 2013 Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair and 2013 San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival. Outside of the kitchen, Pu likes to play guitar and try new food.