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Tiny Chef STL is getting a big reputation in south St Louis

"It can get pretty intense very fast. It gets insane."

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis is known for good food.

Tiny Chef STL is making a big splash on the local scene. Meet Melanie Meyer, the "Tiny Chef."

“I’m a very small woman in stature,” said Meyer.

Meyer is just over 5 feet in height.  The small size gives her an advantage in her small kitchen at the Silver Ballroom on Morgan Ford Road.  It gives her the ability to move more freely around in the space. 

“Twisting and turning and throwing and grilling and skillet tossing everything,” she said.

Meyer can get very busy during her peak hours. 

“It can pretty intense very fast. It gets insane,” she said.

But despite the frenzy in the kitchen, she loves to cook.  

“You gotta cook from the heart. That’s how I share my love is making sure people eat and they eat well. In Korea, we don’t say hey how’s it going. We say have you eaten,” she said.

She feeds people Korean-inspired dishes.  Meyer taught herself how to make them with “lots of trial and error,” she said.

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While she is Korean by birth, Meyer grew up in Missouri.

“I was not raised by a Korean family. I was adopted,” she said.

She said it was difficult for her as a child.

“It was kind of tough being an adoptee in a predominately white area. Trying to create your own path with identity issues can be pretty hard within itself,” she said.

It was her efforts to learn Korean cooking that led her to learn about her identity. 

“I wasn’t fully confident in who I was until I started researching the culture and the country that I came from,” she said.

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The research provided another revelation.

“It helped me find my birth family in Korea,” she said.

Meyer is now planning a trip overseas to meet them. She’s looking forward to sitting down and eating together.

“Have to cook for my family because how this all happened was through food and love,” she said.

She is also hoping to gain some more cooking knowledge while on her month-long trip.  

“Just learn as much as I can so I can bring all of that knowledge back here to Tiny Chef,” she said.

If you would like to try Tiny Chef STL it is located inside of the Silver Ballroom located at 4701 Morgan Ford Rd in south St. Louis. The restaurant will be closed June 1 into July for Meyer's trip to South Korea.

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