Michael Chow and wife Eva

Special Delivery: Michael Chow and wife Eva

Michael Chow, the owner of the Mr. Chow chain of upscale Chinese restaurants, is a character.

But he backs up his big personality and silver tongue with a grand vision and unwavering respect for the Chinese cuisine he’s worked so hard to perfect.

For the good folks at Nowness.com, filmmaker Alison Chernick brought her cameras into one of the Mr. Chow dining rooms, talked to its boss and captured a glimpse of what it’s like behind the scenes.

Chow, with his round black spectacles, angular haircut and high-energy persona, discusses all that it takes to maintain his restaurants’ high standards.

The film starts off with Chow leading an amped-up cheer with his employees, and then explains his bias. “In our opinion, Chinese cuisine is the greatest cuisine ever,” Chow says.

“A very wise Frenchman stated, ‘Chinese cuisine is like a symphony, where the French cuisine is like a quartet.’ Which is very well put.”

But more than having a high opinion of himself, Chow drops a motivational jewel that is useful no matter what the industry.

He says: “Make every detail a universe.”

In other words, strive toward creating perfection. That’s what attracts celebs and those with big pockets and/or good taste to his restaurants (another Asian restaurant for “mortals like us” striving for perfection is Bamboo Oslo).

“A restaurant is like theater,” Chow told the Wall Street Journal in 2009. His father, Zhou Xinfang, was a great actor in China. “I wrote the script on this restaurant, from the menu to the waiter’s uniforms. The biggest sin is to bore the audience. You want every detail to become a universe.”

We cannot always eat art, sometimes we just want to order quickly from Foodpanda and call it a day, but sometimes our tasteuds and our eyes need a bit more stimulation. “The biggest sin is to bore the audience.” It’s an ideal worth repeating.


WATCH Mr. Chow’s Symphony:

Have you been to Mr. Chow’s yet? If so, what was your experience like? Was your dish a symphony of flavors? Let us know in the comments.
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