Chef Alex Chin of Cincinnati's Shanghai on Elm (Formerly Shanghai Mama's) Has Passed Away

"Our Shanghai on Elm family feels this incredible loss of our patriarch so very deeply."

click to enlarge Chef/owner Alex Chin - Photo: Facebook.com/ShanghaionElm
Photo: Facebook.com/ShanghaionElm
Chef/owner Alex Chin

The local restaurant community suffered a deep loss with the passing of Chef Alexander Chin of Shanghai on Elm over the weekend. 

The restaurant, which relocated and rebranded earlier this year from its longstanding location on Sixth Street as Shanghai Mama's, announced Chin's death via a Facebook post on the morning of Aug. 2. 

"It’s truly devastating for the family, friends, loved ones and all who had the pleasure of knowing or meeting the great Alexander Chin," the post read. "Chef, husband, father, mentor, friend and so much more. Our Shanghai on Elm family feels this incredible loss of our patriarch so very deeply."

After two decades in business, the original location of Shanghai on Elm (aka Shanghai Mama's) was suddenly sold last fall and the team behind the restaurant put together a fundraiser to find the restaurant a new home on such short notice. In the GoFundMe, owner and Chef Alex Chin's career was recognized as well as the story behind the restaurant.

Alex Chin was a chef for roughly 40 years, traveling to Japan, Mainland China and Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia while expanding his culinary craft. When he arrived in Cincinnati, he became involved in several Asian restaurants prior to opening Shanghai Mama's (some that no longer exist), including China Kitchen, Chin Dynasty, Pacific Moon Cafe and Szechuan Garden. 

The Facebook post announcement concluded with a song lyric from Green Day, “It’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right, I hope you had the time of your life." 

We will update this post with any memorial or celebration of life events as they are announced. 


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