If Angela Dimayuga was only known to the world as a talented chef a few years back — when she earned her stripes as the badass cook behind cult-favorite eatery Mission Chinese, known for its innovative, tongue-numbing riffs on Sichuan snacks — she’s since transformed into something of a multidisciplinary artist.
In addition to slinging street-food-inspired noshes, she’s modeled for Opening Ceremony and Gauntlett Cheng, designed a genderless swimsuit made of recycled plastic bottles for Los Angeles–based label Everybody.World, and brought an impressionistic Rousseau painting to life as a banquet-style feast for a Kenzo runway show in Paris.
Accordingly, her ethos as a chef regularly sees her imagining edible experiences at the intersection of art, fashion, nightlife, and politics. In her new role as creative director of food and culture for The Standard (as of spring 2018), she’s expanding that philosophy internationally.
“I’m just standing in an alleyway right now,” says Dimayuga, laughing, over a crackling call from Mexico City. She’s on a last-minute research excursion with the Spanish chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias — his Bristol restaurants Casamia and Paco Tapas have earned Michelin stars — whom she brought on to launch a rooftop restaurant at The Standard’s King’s Cross outpost in London.
The pair is on an intimate tour guided by local mezcal expert Niki Nakazawa, the similarly fanciful foodie with an art and publishing background who cofounded Neta, a mezcal brand dedicated to supporting small producers.
“The restaurant is going to be Spanish, but also inspired by Mexican cuisine,” she explains. “In my last few years at Mission Chinese, I was really interested in working collaboratively with a lot of different types of creatives: scientists, activists, farmers. Once I left, I just continued to do a lot of weird projects.”