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The LGF Q+A: Bing Bing Dim Sum’s Sara May

One of the geniuses behind Bing Bing Dim Sum’s line-up of inventive soft serve ice creams is Sara May, a 2013 Star Chefs Rising Star for her work at The Franklin Fountain, a former stage manager, and a lover of all things sweet.

Every day she works the steam station, staring down two enormous 40-gallon kettles of boiling water, stacking up baskets of dumplings, bao, and greens, but she also has a new project in the works—and we got the chance to talk with her about it.

LiveGoodFast: Whats your role like at Bing Bing?

Sara May: It’s hard in the way that a sauté station is not, because all of the food, the dumplings, are made beforehand…so you put it on the steamer in these covered baskets, and each item has a different time, so it’s very much a mental organization game of how long each item needs to steam and how many of each thing is going at once.

LGF: Whats the new project youre working on?

SM: It’s tentatively titled Barkday Cakes and it’s a book of birthday cakes for dogs. I’m really exited about it because dogs are our favorite people. We’re turning the whole idea of a birthday party into a fun, dog-friendly experience from goody bags to mini cakes. I’m working on a recipe for a shrimp cake with a nori frosting, picking up flavors I use at Bing Bing, but it’s going to be pink and green and it’s going to look like a birthday cake, but be very savory and delicious for dogs.”

LGF: So, you have a dog?

SM: I do! He’s a greyhound and his name is Hyde. He’s a retired racer. He’s nine years old and he’s just the laziest, most mellow, sweet, loving dude.

LGF: What do you two like to do when you have days off?

SM: Every morning we take a little walk, we find a shady spot, and we have a lie down together. [Laughing] He’s not a spooner, he likes his space, but he likes to lie down with his head in my lap in the shade. It’s a great way to start my day.

LGF: When youre not out with Hyde, is there a place in the city you like to hang out these days?

SM: I just discovered Breezy’s Cafe in Point Breeze, which I’m totally in love with. Everybody there is super nice and I really dig their breakfast sandwiches. I’m also a huge fan of American Sardine Bar. Great beer list, great snacks.

LGF: So, you had a theatre background before you were a cook. Is there a show youre looking forward to?

SM: Unfortunately, the theatre schedule and the restaurant schedule aren’t very complementary, but I’m so excited for the Fringe Festival coming up. It’s my favorite time of the theatrical year. The theatre and the restaurant world are very similar. You have a tribe and you make your tribe, and I feel so lucky to have made such good friends in both worlds.

Keep up with Sara May and check out the progress of Barkday Cakes’ and their adorable Instagram feed here.

Emily Teel

Emily Teel

Emily is a freelance food writer, recipe developer, and restaurant industry insider who lives and works in Philadelphia. A 2015 Eddy Award winner, she's a principal at Farm Market Media and a regular contributor to several publications including Serious Eats, Philadelphia Magazine, USA Today, and The Huffington Post. See more of her work at VIEW ALL POSTS