Crispy pork belly at Peter Chang's.

Crispy pork belly at Peter Chang's.

In chef Peter Chang’s early days in Washington, he cooked Sichuan food for dignitaries at the Chinese Embassy. But when he moved to area restaurants, he became notoriously flighty, bouncing from one nondescript Chinese eatery to the next. His cooking drew a cadre of loyal diners hungry for his spicy food centered on flash frying in a wok and flavoring with ma la peppercorn. Now, more than ten years later, Chang has since settled down with seven restaurants in Virginia and Maryland. This week, he opens Q, his flagship restaurant in Bethesda, Md., where he is once again pushing boundaries on what Chinese food can and should be. Kojo discusses the chef’s career and the evolution of Chinese food in Washington with one of Chang’s followers and his longtime business partner.


  • Todd Kliman Culture and restaurant critic; Author, "Happiness Is Otherwise," "The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and the Untold Story of American Wine"; @toddkliman
  • Gen Lee Restaurant consultant, Peter Chang

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