East meet the Wild West at Telluride Wine Festival

East meet the Wild West at Telluride Wine Festival

[click “Play” to hear Chef Richard Chen on the Telluride Wine Festival]

Chef Richard Chen - Wing Lei photo by Barbara Kraft

Forget what you remember about the Chinese food from your childhood when superstar chef Richard Chen comes to town for the 28th annual Telluride Wine Festival. We are not talking about Moo goo gai anything. We are talking strictly uptown: “Reverse fusion.” Chef Chen’s food is French-influenced Shanghai, a mix of Shanghai, Cantonese, and Szechwan cuisines. His restaurant, Wing Lei at The Wynn, Las Vegas, is the only Chinese eatery in North America to have earned a Michelin star and the AAA Four Diamond award, also in 2008.

Cooking is in Chef Chen’s  DNA. He began his career at the age of seven, working in his parents’ restaurant in his native Taiwan, and continued to work in their kitchen after the family established a restaurant in suburban Chicago.

Chef Chen formalized his on-the-job training at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, New York. Before premier hotelier Steve Wynn recruited him, Chef Chen had spent years at other top tier hotel restaurants, most recently the venerable Peninsula, regarded as tops in food, service and decor by Zagats and other critics.

Why would a non-gambler roll the dice on a desert town, when his recipes depend on the freshest of ingredients, especially fish and vegetables? To find out why and learn more about Chef Chen’s plans for Telluride,  press the “play” button and listen to his podcast.

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