New York Times

New York Times

Where Peter Chang Cooks, They Will Follow

Peter Chang was in the house.

“Did you see Chang up front?” one of my guests asked, taking a seat around a big glass lazy susan in the back of Peter Chang China Café in this suburb of Richmond. “By the register?”

There he was, just hanging out in civilian clothes, the chef whose devotees will travel hundreds of miles on a rumor that he may be cooking in some far-off town. Mr. Chang’s unpredictable appearances in the kitchen are at least as famous as his Sichuan-style dry-fried eggplant. He used to have a habit of quitting any restaurant where his food had attracted a fanatical following or, worse, a good review.

This, of course, made his followers all the more fanatical. He hopscotched around Chinese restaurants in Virginia, turned up at several in Georgia and was briefly sighted in Virginia again before surfacing in Tennessee for a minute or two. He must be the only chef in America whose Wikipedia entry contains a section called “Disappearances and movement.”

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