Billy Tse was born in Canton, China, to parents who both loved to cook and entertain during the dark days of Chairman Mao’s oppressive “Cultural Revolution.” His father, who owned a printing press, moved to Hong Kong when Billy was very young. Eleven years later, the family was reunited when Billy Tse moved there with his mother.
After a stint working at the Hotel Excelsior, Billy left the region to pursue his culinary dreams in America, arriving in Boston in 1975, where he earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Grahm Junior College.
While still in school, Billy worked the back of the house as a line cook at the English Tea Room on Newbury Street. After graduating, he began managing Weylu’s Restaurant on the North Shore. He worked his way up to general manager, eventually overseeing six restaurant operations. He spent his days writing menus, hiring chefs, and preparing himself for his next adventure. He opened his first restaurant in Revere in 1992.
Billy’s experiences in Hong Kong led him to believe that the right mix of different styles of Asian cooking – now known as the immensely popular “Pan-Asian” cuisine – and realized that this would be his ticket to culinary success. He opened the eponymous Billy Tse Restaurant in September 1996 in Boston’s historic – and traditionally Italian – North End, featuring a perfect blend of super-fresh quality sushi and innovative Chinese dishes, along with an assortment of specialty cocktails.
Says Billy, “ I love to travel with my family. And wherever I go, I find great restaurants, go to the kitchen and meet the chefs. I bring back knowledge and ideas and bring them to life at Billy Tse. Cooking is a joy … and I want my customers to feel that sense of comfort and delight. And for them to feel as welcome as if they were in my own home.” To this day, Billy greets both loyal patrons and new diners with open arms and a warm smile.
Billy Tse lives in the Boston area with his wife and children.