Keegan Wang: Student by Day, Chef by Night

Photo+Courtesy+Keegan+Wang

Photo Courtesy Keegan Wang

Emily Fain, Staff Writer

Many presume that members of the culinary industry are restricted to pursuing their careers solely in restaurant settings, but Keegan Wang is breaking these norms.

A Mercer Island High School sophomore, Wang expands his use of social media to share his creations with his peers. 

Wang cannot recall the exact age he started cooking but due to years of observing his mom in the kitchen, it was definitely pretty young. The countless episodes of “Chopped” that Wang watched as a child also inspired his cooking. 

 “I was watching a lot of cooking shows and I was thinking, ‘Oh I want to be that,’” Wang said. 

Wang frequently posts on his Instagram account, @chef_wang, where his content includes photographs and brief descriptions of the meals he cooks.

“I usually post stuff I cook and then if I ever go on a trip I’ll rate the food that I’ll eat, and post it on my story,” Wang said. 

Wang continuously challenges himself in the culinary world. Last fall he catered a homecoming dinner for a group that consisted of roughly 14 friends. 

“I didn’t really want to spend money going to a restaurant and I didn’t really want to go to a party but I still wanted to hangout with my friends on homecoming day,” Wang said. “So I decided I might as well cook dinner.” 

Wang prepared an eight-course meal, consisting of grilled oysters, miso soup, pork and vegetable potstickers and five more courses. The menu planning required extensive preparation. 

“The prep was like, two weeks leading up. I got the amount of people we had and the amount of servings I would need of each [food item].”  

In terms of cooking or baking, cooking takes Wang’s priority resulting in the majority of his time going to practicing his chef skills. 

“[With] cooking there’s a lot more leeway of just throwing stuff in and most of the time it will work,” Wang said.

On the occasion that Wang does bake, he will often pass the goodies to peers at school. 

“[They’re] usually baked goods because those are easier to hand out, but like if it was a non-[COVID-19] year I would probably bring in more lunch items or other things like that,” Wang said. 

For now, Islanders can spot Wang distributing his creations in the commons at lunch and hopefully snag a treat.