Inside Mike Chen’s life, Including his parents and dating life

Mike Chen is a YouTuber famous for posting food-related videos on his YouTube channels. So far, Chen has accrued over 6 million YouTube followers. Chen’s YouTube journey started in 2013 as part of New Tang Dynasty Television. He appeared in channels such as Off the Great Wall before splitting to create Beyond Science and Strictly Dumpling

Chen originally featured Dan and Yi Yang on his channels, but the pair left YouTube to focus on their families. Mike travels alone around the world, sampling the best foods available. He’d planned to open a restaurant in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic forced him to postpone his plan. 

Mike Chen was born on 22nd November 1980 in Xi’an, China, to Teng and Rigan Chen. He grew up alongside two siblings named Arnold and Renor.

The family moved to the United States when Mike was eight years old. Mike’s parents were cooks who opened restaurants in various locations in the Midwest. 

“My whole life was spent in restaurants,” Mike told The Dallas Morning News. “Growing up around a buffet, I think that’s what helped build my appetite.” After graduating from college, Mike joined a non-profit that worked on exposing the human rights violations happening in China. 

He filmed wedding videos on the weekends to make ends meet. “That’s why I know a lot of the cheap eats in New York; I didn’t really have any money,” Mike said. He eventually got into YouTube and started filming himself eating because, as he puts it, “You get hungry every day, so you might as well film it.”

Chen recently relocated from Seattle to Dallas. He considered moving to Houston because of its food, but its humid climate drove him to Dallas. “I don’t like the idea of walking outside and feeling like I’m in a steam bath,” he said. “I figured Dallas would be the better option.”

Mike has been sampling the cuisine in Dallas and plans to open a Korean steakhouse in Houston. He hopes to expand to other cities in Texas eventually. It’s unlikely that Mike will be doing the cooking himself, however. He considers himself a good cook, but he struggles with presentation. Chen explained:

“The food I cook will never look good. But I guarantee it will taste good! I could never be on, like, Chopped or something, because they’re going to reject my plate right away. But I love making things from scratch. My best dish right now is homemade noodles, which I think is restaurant quality.”

Mike Chen’s love life is a closely guarded secret. His social media pages reveal little about who he might be seeing, so the best bet is to assume that he is single.

On 26th March 2019, Mike gave a rare insight into his love life by telling the story of his first love. Well, his first human love, as his first love was food. 

Chen faced a tough time at school, being one of only two Asian kids in their school. The awkward Chen mostly kept to himself, but it all changed when he met the girl using the neighboring locker. It was love at first sight for Chen, who could only mumble incoherently when the girl first spoke to him. 

Mike spent the next year trying to decipher if the girl liked him back. He finally decided to write a ppem that expressed his feelings towards her. “I decided to do something that would haunt me to this day – I wrote her a love poem,” Mike said in a video titled My First Love.

“I decided to write what I consider now a poem cheesier than the entire Twilight series.” Mike poured his heart out and came up with what he considered a masterpiece. After slipping the poem into the girl’s locker, he remembered that he’d forgotten to sign off the letter. 

He feared that some other boy would claim ownership of the letter and end up with the girl. However, the error turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the girl hated the poem. The biggest lesson learned from Chen’s story: “Don’t follow rom-coms.”

Mike has been a long-time critic of human rights violations in China. He, therefore, didn’t take it kindly when Malaysian YouTuber Uncle Roger stated that Mikey made ‘incorrect remarks about China.’

The feud started after Roger deleted a video of Chen and Roger criticizing a New York chef for his ‘disgusting’ dumplings. Roger posted the following apology on Weibo:

“My staff and I would like to express our sincerest apologies to everyone. Considering the seriousness of this issue and the negative impact of the video itself, we discussed it internally and decided to take it down. I wasn’t aware of his political thoughts and past incorrect remarks about China.”

“I love Chinese culture, which is why I started my channel,” Roger added. Chen wrote on Instagram that Roger needed to sensitize himself about the situation in China. Mike has openly criticized China about the Uyghur labor camps and the imprisonment of pro-democracy activists. He wrote on Instagram:

“I hold no animosity towards Nigel for what he did, because it’s hard to stand up to the CCP’s tactics. I do hope that he learns more about the human rights abuses that the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] has committed because he lives in a free country where he can do that.”