Peter Chang is set to arrive in Williamsburg VA . Inside the food world, this is stupendous, even astounding news, but for most people, Chang is the most famous chef that they’ve never heard of.
He’s a cult figure who’s opened restaurants in Fairfax, Alexandria, Atlanta, Knoxville and Charlottesville. Fans have traded clues about his whereabouts on the web, and he’s been tracked from restaurant to restaurant by Todd Kliman of The Washingtonian, who wrote about his own obsession with Chang’s food in the March 2010 issue of Oxford American. That same month, Calvin Trillin wrote a profile of Chang for the New Yorker.
Peter Chang and his business partner, Gen Lee, are about to expand their Virginia presence with a new restaurant in Williamsburg.They have just signed a lease for an 8,000-square-foot building on Richmond Road that used to house Wasabi Oriental Buffet.
That’s more than double the size of the Short Pump location , which has been mobbed with customers ever since it opened in February.
Asked how Chang himself will divide his time between restaurants (including the one in Charlottesville), Lee says six master chefs are coming from China to work with him. Three are already here, and one of them, chef Wen-Qiang Huang, is the executive chef at Peter Chang China Café in Short Pump. Huang has worked side-by-side with Chang for 23 years, Lee says. One of the chefs is a master pastry chef, as is Chang’s wife, Lisa, he adds.
The new Peter Chang restaurant in Williamsburg is set to open Oct. 1 2012.