Famed Restauranteur Michael Chow On His Philosophy Of Chinese Cuisine
More than 40 years after introducing high-end Chinese dining to the West with his namesake Mr. Chow restaurant — which now boasts six locations in the US and UK — this week the famed restaurateur Michael Chow discusses his philosophy of presenting “Chinese cuisine via Italian waiters, accompanied by French wine and without a chopstick in sight” with NOWNESS. Long a proponent of Chinese culture and culinary heritage, Chow has, over the 40 years, accomplished what others have tried and not yet succeeded in doing: Presenting Chinese classics in an uncompromising manner, seating diners alongside Chow’s collection of Warhols, Basquiats, Hockneys and Mapplethorpes and plying them with a wine list that would make other fine dining establishments green with envy.
While Chow has a 40-year head-start, home-grown Chinese restauranteurs (Chow was born in China but raised mainly in Europe) have also set their sights on overseas markets in the hopes of bringing Chinese cuisine to a wider audience. As Jing Daily noted earlier this year, cook-turned-entrepreneur Zhang Lan has been hard at work expanding her upscale South Beauty (俏江南) chain to 90 locations within China, and Zhang plans to export South Beauty first to Japan and onward from there. Perhaps showing a bit more recklessness (or ambition, depending on your viewpoint) than his mother, Zhang’s son, Wang Xiaofei, has expressed an interest in taking South Beauty’s even more high-end brand LAN Club to New York in the near future.