Thank you to everyone for making it to the 7th Annual Top 100 Awards Ceremony!
Chinese restaurants have been around the US for over 150 years, dating way back to the first days of the Gold Rush. At that time, a large number of Chinese came to San Francisco for the chance to make their dreams come true. A portion of those who came decided to then open up Chinese restaurants. Starting small, the industry gradually developed into its present state. Now, over 45,000 Chinese restaurants dot the country. These restaurants are divided into different tiers with a third of them being mom and pop operations. Those restaurants generally offer take-out and only have a couple of tables. For the most part they are able to subsist but not looking to grow bigger. Another group of restaurants is family style restaurants which make up about half of the Chinese restaurants in the US. They boast a buffet and/or a dining area and are more suitable for those Chinese customers who may have problems communicating in English. The highest tier restaurants are rarer and will usually feature Cantonese dishes and snacks.
A big issue in the Chinese restaurant industry is the promotion of how it is standardized, such as Panda Express. The industry overall doesn’t really have to pursue standardization but instead should seek to be more diverse in every area including its selections and service. Standardization is more suited within an enterprise as in restaurant chains, the market, and other forms of development.
The emphasis in Chinese cuisine is on eliminating the old while making use of new ingredients and preparation methods. Chefs must also utilize novel approaches to providing dishes that are healthier and which are held in higher esteem. The question is, how does one prepare a dish that it is both tasty and healthy? Looking at how I’ve kept the weight off, the main reason for that is my emphasis on eating vegetables and seafood while also avoiding fried foods for the most part. If you know how to eat healthy, then you really have a lot of choices to choose from when designing your meals. At the same time, Chinese restaurants in the US should be looking to prepare healthy food that is able to meld with the flavors that Americans like. Only by doing this can the industry develop to its maximum potential.
We’ve been stressing the need to promote China and its culture. That can be a bit difficult in English speaking countries as there is an entrenched English language culture which often leads to the exclusion of foreign cultures in those countries. But at the table, everyone is a bit more open to change. For the logic behind that, all one must do is remember a Chinese saying, “To win a man’s heart you must first win his stomach.” Therefore, by preparing delicious food for people we are able to help spread Chinese culture. Chinese dining in the US is really grassroots; there are Chinese restaurants everywhere. Those people that are the most open to Chinese culture are the ones who dine at these restaurants. So, to adequately promote Chinese dining culture we must raise its image. The goal is to let Westerners enjoy the dining experience that Chinese restaurants offer while gaining their trust. Chefs should aspire to take patrons on a culinary journey throughout China. Gradually combining Chinese culture, tourism, and American dining together will help us to further spread Chinese culture throughout the world!