IN THE BEGINNING
EARLY 1960s: Even though the first P.F. Chang’s opened in 1993, the story begins in the early 1960s. Cecilia Chiang was flourishing in the wild success of her Chinese restaurant, The Mandarin. Flash forward to 1974 and she has a second location in Beverly Hills, feeding celebrities like John Lennon and Yoko Ono. That year, Cecilia was called back to China for an extended trip. Her son, Philip, just out of art school, was realizing the woes of finding work as an artist. He stepped in to run the restaurant. And run the restaurant he did.
1990s: Enter restaurateur Paul Fleming. He’s living in Arizona running a successful restaurant concept, but also spending time at his regular Chinese place in Los Angeles called Mandarette. How does restaurant owner Philip Chiang make only three ingredients taste so tantalizingly delicious? He hopped on planes for business meetings, but mostly for some lettuce wraps; customers would surely flock. With a handshake, they agree to share the magic and P.F. Chang’s is born.
Many guests don’t realize that P.F. Chang’s has a scratch kitchen — we wouldn’t have it any other way! We hire chefs, not kitchen managers. Even the simplest tasks, like julienning carrots, are done with passion. The pinches and folds in the dim sum must be perfect.
HAND SLICED. HAND SHAPED. HAND FORMED.
The folds in dim sum dictate how the final dish is served. The stuffing and fillings are made from scratch, and then we hand shape them so that each dim sum plate is perfect.
Wok cooking is nearly 2,000 years old. Oil heats up in a matter of seconds and reacts to the heat, causing an explosion of flavors and releasing a wok hei.
As we look at Asia, the opportunities to take our guests on a journey is in front of us. The intersection of history and food & culture across Asia is going to continue to be part of the menu at P.F. Chang’s.
“Every single one of us is so important. We couldn’t do our job without the person next to us. The dishwasher is just as important as the host, as the bartender, as the wok cook, and as the person that’s rolling the dumplings.”
— Danielle Eastman, Operating Partner, Palo Alto, CA
TRANSFORMING FOOD WITH PASSION AND PRIDE