Chef Ji Peng Chen comes to Austin by way of New York City. Born in the city of Fuzhou, China, Chen grew up the youngest of seven children. He often found himself cooking for his family in their rural home town. This familial background still influences Chef Chen’s style of cooking today as he incorporates these comforting flavors and seasonal ingredients into many of his signature dishes.
After cooking in restaurants in Fuzhou, Chen decided to explore the opportunity of coming to the United States to improve his craft. Chen worked in kitchens in Delaware and Virginia before heading to New York. He soon found himself helping a friend open a new restaurant. Upon learning that there was a restaurant in Austin, Texas, in need of a traditional Chinese chef, Chen took a chance and moved south to lead the Wu Chow kitchen.
Chen’s combined passion for travel, cooking, and enjoying diverse cuisine made him a natural fit for Wu Chow. “I am excited to bring some Eastern cuisine to Austin that isn’t here yet,” says Chen. “Cooking is the best way I know how to keep Chinese heritage alive.” So far, Chen is impressed by the chiles in Texas and is looking forward to creating authentic, local Chinese food in Austin.