Michael Chow

Michael Chow

“Everything is based on a universe of subliminal details, when you pull it together, there is content and quality. It’s like couture. There is the focus; the cutting is most important. But every stitch is a universe. Every stitch has its own high standard. I call the standard ‘humanly possible.’ It’s a way of life.”

“My basic drive is to live life like a movie. I’m always looking for those moments when my daydreams are somehow coming true. This movie is manipulated to be real.”

A perfect example of Mr. Chow’s attention to detail is in the way the waiters place down the plates.

“The three fingers must come up to balance, I didn’t read it in a book, nobody told me this, but it’s one way, only way. And then if you place it slightly crooked, you have the opportunity to adjust it, and that touch! You can charge $2 extra for that touch.”

“Mr. Chow, the last time we met, you told me something. I still repeat it all the time. You told me that whatever is difficult, heavy, and expensive must be good. And you told me that whatever comes to the senses quickly goes quickly.”

“Whatever is true, opposite truer.”

“Whatever is true to one’s time and one’s self and one’s dream lasts. Always, there is one way, only way. Whatever is personal is universal. Whatever creative process I do, it’s not me. The universe tells me what to do, and I listen. If you have a very good ear, you are very confident.”

“People say it is not politically correct, why no Chinese waiters, why only forks? But I wanted it all user-friendly. I wanted the best pieces of everything.”

“In some ways, my father has been very lucky, he is incredibly hardworking, has a great eye, and has mastered the art of running a restaurant down to the tiniest detail. But he also has a knack for popping up in the right places at the right time—London in the ’60s and ’70s, when that city was the cultural center of the world; New York and L.A. during the art and showbiz booms there. It’s uncanny.”

– China Chow

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