Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Inside scoop on P.F. Chang's from Chef's Mama

Who knows you better than your mama? How about when your mom is a world-class chef (a.k.a. the "Julia Child of Chinese Cooking") and she's opining on your restaurant?

I had the pleasure of meeting Cecilia Chiang, mother of P. F. Chang's Co-Founder Philip Chiang. Of course I asked her the all important question: What are your favorite dishes at P. F. Chang's? She answered that her favorites are the smoked ribs and the seared ahi tuna but that Philip's sister likes the garlic noodles.

In the 1960s, when Cecilia Chiang opened The Mandarin in San Francisco, she faced a lot of opposition when she tried to serve authentic Mandarin cuisine instead of the Americanized-Cantonese that was commonplace. Now she is over 90 yrs old and has plenty of fans including Thomas Keller and a long roster of esteemed students including Alice Waters, Julia Child, and James Beard. Her book documents her incredible life with significant struggles and also presents delicious authentic recipes that our adventurous foodie culture has now come to love.

Her son Philip Chiang (whose last name was simplified to Chang) is the chef that conceived and planned the menu of P. F. Chang's. He has also struggled with bending traditional recipes to American taste but the restaurant chain has done incredibly well (now at nearly 200 bistros) so he must have hit the spot for the average American. Last week, P. F. Chang's announced the launch of a line of frozen entrees that can be prepared at home in 13 minutes or less. The flavors include: Orange Chicken, Shanghai Style Beef, Sweet & Sour Chicken, General Chang's Chicken, Ginger Chicken & Broccoli, Beef with Broccoli, Shrimp in a Garlic Sauce and Shrimp Lo Mein.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Food and Wine Mavens Design by Insight © 2009