Boston, MA 02118
Myers + Chang, a funky, pan Asian diner in the South End, is the joint effort of baker and pastry chef extraordinaire Joanne Chang and restaurateur Christopher Myers. The Washington Street eatery serves a menu of loosely interpreted Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai and Vietnamese specialties. Using fresh, beautiful, local-when-possible ingredients and lighter sauces, Chang and her team offer both fun and innovative takes on classic dishes and new dishes that stay true to the flavors of the region.
The frequently-packed dining room, where the floor-to-ceiling windows are adorned with bright red dragon decals, draws crowds for dinner, weekday lunch and a dim sum brunch on the weekend. Seats on the small patio get snapped up quickly once it's warm enough as do the seats at the counter overlooking the kitchen.
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A New Jersey native, chef Karen Akunowicz graduated from UMass Amherst and moved to Boston. For years, she studied the art of hospitality as she bartended and managed restaurants. Drawn to the heat, pressure and hustle of the kitchen she enrolled at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts.
After a stint at Ten Tables in her JP neighborhood, she went on to spend the next few years studying and cooking Italian food at Via Matta in Boston’s Back Bay working for Michael Schlow and Christopher Myers.
Throwing herself though a cracked window of opportunity, she packed her knives and moved to Modena, Italy. She found a red bicycle, inspiration and renewed passion for preparing even the simplest of food. Armed with a fool’s artillery of very little Italian, and no place to live, she staged at a small osteria, made pasta with little old ladies, and finally became the Chef at L’Avion blu Enoteca.
On return to the States, Akunowicz had the opportunity to work for Chef Ana Sortun as her Sous Chef at Oleana restaurant in Cambridge. Akunowicz embraced the farm to table mentality and studied Sortun's creative spice-driven cuisine.
A twist of fate landed her at United Teen Equality Center Lowell, where created the Fresh Roots Culinary Program. She worked with Lowell’s most disengaged youth to teach them culinary skills and help them find employment. She was able to combine her passion for cooking and her desire to create community while teaching young people valuable job skills in a difficult economy.
She is thrilled to now be a part of the Myers+Chang team as Executive Chef and is constantly inspired by the sweet, spicy, powerful Asian cuisine.
Akunowicz is a JP yoga femme who loves the lamb sandwich at Flour Bakery. When she’s not behind the stove, she is Om-ing in various asanas or jet setting to NJ to see her niece Olivia.