Friday, February 19, 2010 at 2:06 p.m.
The battle of the Chows didn't start in Miami Beach, but when Mr. Chow and Philippe by Philippe Chow opened mere footsteps away from each other, down came the machetes. Both gents may share the same last name (and, it seems, some similar recipes--more on this later), but so there's no confusion, our interviewee, Philippe Chow, is the chef/owner of Philippe in the Gansevoort South.
Chow was born in China in 1958 and moved to Hong Kong as a teenager, where he learned basic Chinese cooking skills. He came to the United States in 1979 and started working in Mr. Chow's Manhattan kitchen the next year and continued to do so for a quarter of a century. He then opened his own New York City flagship restaurant, creating a hungry group of followers--some celebrity--who crave his Peking duck and chicken satay.
One thing's for sure: Chow gives good interview. We can't think of any other famous chef who would admit to doing the "YMCA" in the kitchen, wanting to cook naked with Martha Stewart, nor craving fried Oreos. Read on:
New Times: Which chef, alive or dead, would you like to challenge in Iron Chef fashion? Why do you believe you could kick his or her ass in the kitchen?
Philippe Chow: I made the offer to any of Michael Chow's chefs but they didn't want no part of it!
NT: If your significant other gave you a pass, what celebrity chef would you most like to enjoy a naked cooking session with and why?
PC: Martha Stewart, because when I was on her show I thought she was giving me a special eye.
NT: If you could serve a meal to any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you cook for him/her?
PC: I enjoyed cooking for our president, Barack Obama, and he loved my crispy beef. He loved it so much he came back for more!
NT: What was your most embarrassing cooking-related moment?
PC: Calling Mr. Bill Gates "Mr. Yates!"
NT: What's your favorite soundtrack/song to cook to?
NT: Which famous chef, alive or dead, would you like to shadow for a day (assuming you haven't already had the chance)?
PC: Eric Ripert, who loves my cooking. And I admire his skill.
NT: What is your dream culinary trip?
PC: [I] love to fish off Montauk each summer and catch the day's dinner special of American black sea bass.
NT: If you weren't a chef, you'd be...?
PC: [A] mixed martial arts fighter in UFC
NT: Aside from any restaurants you own, work at, or have interest in, which Greater Miami eatery is your favorite and what do you like to order there?
PC: Prime 112. Their fried Oreo desserts and porterhouse steak.
NT: Please complete this sentence: Never trust a chef who/that... ?
PC: Doesn't have a clean chef's coat!