Born in Yibin, Sichuan, China, Chen emigrated to Japan in 1952, and became a Japanese citizen in 1954. Chen had originally specialized in Chinese imperial cuisine. However in 1958, upon opening the Shisen Hanten(四川飯店?) restaurant in Japan, Chen arranged his dishes to cater to the tastes of his Japanese clients. Chen introduced Shanghai-style Sichuan cuisine to the Japanese people through the Shisen Hanten Restaurant as well as through nationwide TV shows, particularly NHK's TV show, Kyō no ryōri ("Today's Cuisine" in English). Chen came to be known as the "father of Chinese Sichuan cooking" in Japan.