Grand Sichuan is about to get a bit grander: according to owner Xiaotu “John” Zhang, the owner of the local restaurant chain, will open another location on 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, possibly by the end of the year. The restaurant will incorporate both Eastern and Western styles and offer more small plates. Zhang announced the news in the course of a lengthy and thought-provoking interview with Take the Handle. Zhang also admitted to having lifted the entire concept and menu from Wu Liang Ye, the Rockefeller Center restaurant where he got his start, and revealed the secret of the success behind his restaurant’s voluminous menu: many of the recipes are tested in a kitchen laboratory in Grand Sichuan’s Beijing outpost.
And here’s some more food for thought: Zhang thinks that “Chinese food lags behind many other cuisines.” Why? A lack of technique and knowledge of ingredients, a disregard for texture and different tastes, and almost non-existent communication between Chinese chefs and their non-Chinese counterparts. “They’re isolated. They can’t learn anything new. That’s a problem.”