Chinese Food now Haute Cuisine in the USA

Chinese food now haute cuisine of choice for America’s rich thanks to chefs who’ve taken it to another level

Pioneering chefs from San Francisco to New York are changing perceptions of Chinese food as they serve high-quality, high-priced takes on traditional dishes, from duck and chicken feet to potstickers stuffed with foie gras

From coast to coast in the United States, there is a sense that a new day is dawning for Chinese cuisine. On the west coast, especially in the fine food-obsessed San Francisco Bay Area, chefs are taking advantage of the wealth and natural bounty to pioneer a new level of Chinese-American fine dining. On the east coast, some of the mainland’s most successful restaurateurs have opened their first overseas outposts, introducing eager local diners to the food of modern China.

Everywhere, chefs and restaurant owners – both Chinese and Chinese American – are introducing new flavours and changing opinions of the cuisine itself.

In the American restaurant industry, Chinese food has long been lumped with other so-called “ethnic” cuisines like Mexican or Thai, which were expected first and foremost to be cheap.

It had been accepted that diners who think nothing of spending US$500 on a tasting menu at The French Laundry would recoil at spending even a tenth of that at a Chinese restaurant – even if the chefs were equally skilled and working with ingredients sourcedfrom the same producers.

Now, chefs and the dining public are pushing back.

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