Michael Lin, MMH’ 15
Arcadia, CA (a surburb of Los Angeles)
I was excited to find out that someone from my hometown would be in the MMH program with me! Although Michael and I went to the same high school at the same time two years apart, we never met each other until the week before we moved to Ithaca to start this adventure!
Michael loves food and sharing his knowledge of Taiwanese, Chinese, and Asian cuisines. Before coming to MMH, Michael was a food tour guide on the Delicious Dumpling Tour at Six Taste Food Tours in Los Angeles for four years. He also writes a food and travel blog (S.O.F.A.T. Blog) and hosts restaurant introduction videos on the Tastemade app. You can follow him on various social media @sofatblog.
Why Cornell? Why Hotel School?
I lived in Southern California my whole life, so it was time to check out the East Coast. Who knew the winters were so brutal?
I worked in an office cubicle for way too long. It was time to put some passion into my career path. Hotel School seemed to offer the business degree with a hospitality mindset.
Why did you pick your concentration?
Self-directed worked for me because I had the opportunity to take a combination of restaurant development and entrepreneurial courses. I could also formulate independent studies that catered to my skill sets such as hospitality journalism and East Asian cuisine.
What’s your best advice for prospective MMH candidate?
Be mentally prepared for a huge lifestyle change. Find a strong (not necessarily big) group of close friends, classmates, and professors who can support you throughout your time here in Ithaca. Be adventurous, and branch out even beyond MMH!
What are your career plans after MMH?
My ultimate goal is to host a food and travel series on a major network like the Travel Channel. In the meantime I would love to do some restaurant concept development and start my own food & beverage retail businesses.
Where in Ithaca were you able to find good food?
Ithaca is not the place to find Taiwanese food, so we made a lot of it ourselves with the help of Wegmans, Win Li, and Ithaca Tofu market.
The fried chicken and waffles from Waffle House in the Commons really hit the spot and reminded me of Roscoe’s in LA. Whenever I needed a pick-me-up, I treated myself to some of Ithaca’s best comfort food.