Peter Chang (chef)

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Peter Chang
Hubei, China
Culinary career

Peter Chang is an award-winning chef specializing in Szechwan cuisine who has cooked for restaurants in the American southeast. Chang was born in Hubei Province and trained in China, and cooked a meal for the Chinese president, Hu Jintao.[1] He moved to the United States to work as the chef at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.[1] In the past, Chang has disappeared and left restaurants, inspiring a group of fans to follow his movement in Internet discussion boards, such as and Chowhound.[2][3]

Disappearances and movement[edit]

After leaving the Chinese Embassy and until early 2005, Chang was cooking at China Star in Fairfax, Virginia. At that time he moved to TemptAsian in Alexandria. At TemptAsian, Chang’s cooking became popular in discussion boards for food enthusiasts and was favorably reviewed by among others Todd Kliman, a local restaurant critic.[4] In May 2006, Chang moved to China Gourmet/Szechuan Boy in Fairfax, Virginia, where Kliman again gave his cooking a strong positive review.[5] Shortly after that review was published, Chang disappeared. In September 2006, Chang’s followers found him working at Tasty China in Marietta, Georgia.[6][7] By early 2007, Chang had again disappeared. In 2008, Chang was found working at Hong Kong House in Knoxville, Tennessee. A year later, Chang moved to Taste of China in Charlottesville, Virginia.[3]

Chang left Taste of China on March 20, 2010, after a difference of opinion with the owner John Rong.[8] He did cook for at least one night, March 25, at Tasty China in Atlanta, but by March 28 it was already reported that he was leaving Atlanta.[9] That report quotes from an interview with Chang in which he expressed his desire for "a fancier restaurant with nice ambiance, finer service, and broad wine selection."

Chang attributes his frequent change in restaurants to dissatisfaction with working conditions and a "desire to give various regions of America an opportunity to taste authentic Szechuan cooking."[3]

On December 19, 2010, he reappeared with his new restaurant, Peter Chang's Tasty China II, which opened on Powers Ferry Road, in the northwestern sector of Atlanta just off I-285.[10] As of August 11, 2014 the Tasty China II Powers Ferry Location is closed.

On March 1, 2011, Chang opened Peter Chang's China Grill in Charlottesville, Virginia with an event for invitees only.[11][12] The restaurant had its grand opening to the public on March 2, 2011.

He opened Peter Chang's China Grill restaurant in Short Pump, a suburb of Richmond, Virginia on W. Broad St. in early 2012 called Peter Chang's China Cafe.[13] In 2012,China Grill was labelled by Bon Appétit as one of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America.[14]

In September 2012, Peter Chang opened Peter Chang Cafe in Williamsburg, Virginia on Richmond Road, near the campus of The College of William and Mary.[15]

In May, 2013, Peter Chang opened Peter Chang's China Cafe in Fredericksburg, Virginia in the Central Park Shopping Center.[16]

Chang has twice been asked to cook at the James Beard House in New York City, as part of their guest chef series. These events took place in January 2012 and February 2013.[17]

On March 14, 2015, a restaurant bearing his name opened in Arlington, Virginia's, Lee Harrison Shopping Center.[18]

He also opened a restaurant in Rockville, Maryland in the Town Square Plaza on April 15, 2015.[19]

On June 5, 2016, Peter Chang opened a new restaurant in Richmond, Virginia, in the Hofheimer Building at 2816 W. Broad St., near the intersection of Broad and Boulevard. Chang has taken a 10-year lease on a 3,000-square-foot section of the 15,000-square-foot property that is being restored by real estate developer Carter Snipes. It is Chang’s first restaurant in Richmond’s city limits and his second in the Richmond area, joining his Peter Chang China Café, which opened in Short Pump in 2012.[20]

In May 2017, Peter Chang opened a new restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland, Q by Peter Chang, at 4500 East-West Highway, with a "grand opening" scheduled for June 2, 2017.[21]

Media interest[edit]

Olive Productions, an independent film production company with Stanley Tucci, Steve Buscemi, and Wren Arthur as its principals, had expressed interest in making a film based on Chang's movements and the group of followers who pursued him. Fox Searchlight Pictures was involved. The film was tentatively named "Where's Chang." A screenplay was produced, written by Oscar-winning screenwriter John Patrick Shanley. Members of this group met at Chang's restaurant in Atlanta on Oct. 28, 2011 for lunch. However, the project has not moved forward and while information about it once appeared in the New York Times movie database it has since been removed.[22]

On July 14, 2013, Andrew Zimmern and his production crew for his show Bizarre Foods America shown on the Travel Channel taped several hours of material at Chang's restaurant in Short Pump, Va. The show (Season 5, episode 3) aired on Nov. 18th, 2013.


  1. ^ a b Kliman, Todd (24 February 2010), "Todd Kliman Chases the Perfect Chef", Oxford American, archived from the original on 2 March 2010, retrieved 27 February 2010
  2. ^ Seider, Todd (20 February 2010), "Taste of China Tastes Tasty", Virginia Law Weekly, 62 (18), retrieved 27 February 2010
  3. ^ a b c Trillin, Calvin (1 March 2010), "Where's Chang?", The New Yorker, pp. 26–29
  4. ^ TemptAsian Cafe, Route 236 in West Alexandria; Chinese in the Grand Mart Shopping Plaza,, 26 June 2005, retrieved 27 February 2010
  5. ^ Kliman, Todd (1 May 2006), "Dining Out", The Washingtonian
  6. ^ Atlanta, Marietta, Tasty China. Full Report, Chowhound, 16 October 2006, retrieved 27 February 2010
  7. ^ Kessler, John (24 February 2010), Front Burner: Peter Chang in 'New Yorker', Access Atlanta, retrieved 27 February 2010
  8. ^ McNair, Dave, "The Chang Effect", The Hook 23 March 2010
  9. ^ Macon, Tom, "Peter Chang Update", Atlanta Cuisine 28 March 2010
  10. ^ Peter Chang the enigmatic chef
  11. ^ Waite, Kathy (23 February 2011), "This Just In", C'ville
  12. ^ McNair, Dave (2 March 2011). "Chang finally returns". The Hook. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  13. ^ Fox, Brandon (7 February 2012). "My Meal with Peter Chang". Richmond Magazine. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  14. ^ "Bon Appétit's 50 Best New Restaurant Nominees". Bon Appétit. September 2012.
  15. ^ "Peter Chang set to open new place in Williamsburg". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  16. ^ Murphy, Cher (14 May 2013). "Peter Chang's China Cafe Opens to Full House". Fredericksburg Patch. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  17. ^ "James Beard Foundation". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  18. ^ Carman, Tim (2015-03-09). "The wait is over: Peter Chang returns to Northern Virginia on Saturday". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  19. ^ Carman, Tim (2015-02-25). "Peter Chang will join the fast-casual revolution with Arlington restaurant". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  20. ^ bizsense, Richmond (2015-05-06). "World famous chef Peter Chang to open restaurant in Richmond's Scott's Addition neighborhood". wtvr channel 6. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  21. ^ Spiegel, Anna (10 May 2017). "Peter Chang's Highly-Anticipated Flagship Opens With Dim Sum, Peking Duck". Washingtonian. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  22. ^ "Movie Reviews". Retrieved 2 September 2017.