johnb

Chang and Rockwell Members (Calvin Trillin in the New Yorker)

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Since there are probably many Rockwell members who don't follow the old Peter Chang thread these days, they may not be aware of the latest news, which is an article in the current issue of the New Yorker by famous food writer and humorist Calvin Trillin, discussing chef Chang, his peregrinations, and the group of Rockwell members who have followed him. So I thought it would be worthwhile to post this to bring it to the attention of those who may be interested but haven't picked up on it as yet.

DonRockwell.com is itself a key "character" in the story.

To actually read the full article you need to have a hard copy of the magazine, now on newsstands, or be a subscriber to the NYer web site.

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For the record, here is part of a note I sent to Calvin Trillin a year and a half ago at a time when the whereabouts of Peter Chang were unknown:

<<I am moved to tell you about Chef Peter Chang who cut quite a swath through Washington a couple of years ago on his way to god knows where. Chang is reputed to have been the chef for the president of China, a major hotel in Beijing, the ambassador to Washington, and then (this I can certify) at three restaurants in this area, and then one in Marietta, outside Atlanta. On each occasion, he received over the top reviews and consequently hordes of customers, and then disappeared. No one, including his last stopover in Georgia, has any information (to share) on where he is now. There are various theories to explain all this — trouble with la migra, with his wife, with the proprietors of the places he was working at, but the most likely seemed to me that he just couldn't bear the screaming traffic. I met him on a couple of occasions and beyond the language barrier I could see that he was a shy and deferential man. (A group of us tried to work our way through the menu on Summer Tuesday afternoons.) So the story is a mystery with psychological implications, international intrigue and of course a central theme of richly satisfying food. My prediction would be that your reportorial skills will quickly enable you to discover where he is and then … won’t tell. That mysterious conclusion would be all right with many of us who are almost as fascinated by the story itself as we are by the astonishing dishes he prepared.>>

There have been many communications since then, but that got the ball rolling.

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Outstanding, Stephen. I hope my copy arrives in today's mail.

edited to add: with some difficulty, I managed to get the website to acknowledge my subscription, which enabled me to read the article online. How cool it must have been, to drive down to Charlottesville with Calvin Trillin and then to share a tableful of Peter Chang's food with him!

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I went to the local Borders today to no avail. Their truck deliveries were delayed by the snow fall. No matter. I gave myself a free, trial subscription to the New Yorker's digital edition. Done.

You can do the same thing with The New Yorker for the Kindle -- free two-week subscription. And if you decide to keep it, it's only $2.99/month.

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I have never missed The Trover Shop so much ;) . I'm not sure where to look for The New Yorker except at Union Station, and I don't get there much. Does CVS carry The New Yorker? Safeway?

My husband is going to look in College Park later in the week if I don't find it before then.

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I have never missed The Trover Shop so much ;) .

Doing a full 540 ... when I was in elementary school, I used to ride my bike over to the Shuman's house (the Shuman family owned The Trover Shop), and we'd gather up the neighborhood kids for a pick-up game of baseball.

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Doing a full 540

Shaun White would be proud! ;)

One can buy the whole issue online for $3.99, too.

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How cool it must have been, to drive down to Charlottesville with Calvin Trillin and then to share a tableful of Peter Chang's food with him!

After reading The New Yorker article, I'm interested in the "expeditionary team" road coversation. Four hours on the road with Calvin Trillin [half of it after having a gastric group hug from Peter Chang] must have been an adventure on its own.

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Outstanding, Stephen. I hope my copy arrives in today's mail.

edited to add: with some difficulty, I managed to get the website to acknowledge my subscription, which enabled me to read the article online. How cool it must have been, to drive down to Charlottesville with Calvin Trillin and then to share a tableful of Peter Chang's food with him!

Mine has yet to come in the mail, and I HATE the New Yorker website ;) I can't wait to read this.

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After reading The New Yorker article, I'm interested in the "expeditionary team" road coversation. Four hours on the road with Calvin Trillin [half of it after having a gastric group hug from Peter Chang] must have been an adventure on its own.

I have to admit, probably my greatest regret in this whole thing is missing that road trip with Trillin. I mostly related to him across the lunch table, and in a couple of (fairly long) phone calls in the week or so afterward, but it's surely not the same. It was very interesting to watch how he worked, and I'm very impressed with the way he picked up on so many seemingly small details that make the story so readable. But I guess that's what sets a really great writer like him apart from a dud like me.

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Note to self...must keep up with DR.Com boards.... I have been to Cville and in THAT shopping center a couple of times in the past few months! What an idiot I am! We have a college visit scheduled for two weeks from now to UVA...but I think I may have to go sooner. I am thrilled...my husband thinks I am a stalker.

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Terrific piece-really captured the food-obsessed at their best. No disrespect to those involved-congrats in fact, but I also wish Trillin had maybe written a little more about the food ;)

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I'm curious about this article but I'm too lazy to get a free copy myself. If anyone feels like copying and pasting it and e-mail it to me at ericandblueboy@gmail.com, I'd really appreciate it.

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I'm curious about this article but I'm too lazy to get a free copy myself. If anyone feels like copying and pasting it and e-mail it to me at ericandblueboy@gmail.com, I'd really appreciate it.

not good attitude. ;)

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I'm curious about this article but I'm too lazy to get a free copy myself. If anyone feels like copying and pasting it and e-mail it to me at ericandblueboy@gmail.com, I'd really appreciate it.

The link for the free trial up at the top there takes less time to fill out than your post did.... It is a great article. Stalkers...that is what we all are... ;)

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I have never missed The Trover Shop so much ;) . I'm not sure where to look for The New Yorker except at Union Station, and I don't get there much. Does CVS carry The New Yorker? Safeway?

I don't think so, and I don't think so. Any decent (new) bookstore should have it, but then there aren't many of those around either. Border's on L St NW. Kramerbooks. There's a news-stand sort of shop in 2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW (behind Kinkead's) that carries it. I see that the News Room, which would have it, at Connecticut and Florida, appears to have closed.

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I have never missed The Trover Shop so much ;) . I'm not sure where to look for The New Yorker except at Union Station, and I don't get there much. Does CVS carry The New Yorker? Safeway?

My husband is going to look in College Park later in the week if I don't find it before then.

It's a sad day in the world when you can't buy The New Yorker on the Hill. I can pick up at copy at P&P and drop it off this weekend if you need.

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It's a sad day in the world when you can't buy The New Yorker on the Hill. I can pick up at copy at P&P and drop it off this weekend if you need.

Thanks for the offer, but I think I'm covered now ;) . I was able to look at the article yesterday in a friend's subscription copy. I scanned through the article and enjoyed it, but the conditions weren't optimal for a thorough reading. If my husband doesn't find one today, I can either get a copy of the article from her or haul myself to Union Station. I know the bookstore there carries the magazine. That is, though, the only place I can think of nearby that does carry it.

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Given theories for Peter Chang's series of flights, Calvin Trillin seems to have set up perfect conditions for testing one. Wonder if there are any vacancies in strip malls in the Research Triangle.

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After reading The New Yorker article, I'm interested in the "expeditionary team" road coversation. Four hours on the road with Calvin Trillin [half of it after having a gastric group hug from Peter Chang] must have been an adventure on its own.

It was a most interesting ride (and conversation) that ranged far and wide. Some discussion about food, the reason Rio Rd is RYO and not REO, the proper name to call Mr. Jefferson's academical village, people we know in common, restaurants in NYC we've visited...as I said, a most interesting conversation and that was just on the way to and in C'ville before we even ate. The conversation on the way back was a bit more sedate as food and experience was being digested.

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I read Trillin's wonderful article in this week's New Yorker about Changians. PC is a stealth chef, quietly moving from NOVA (several spots) to the Atlanta suburbs, to Knoxville, and now Charlottesville. But perhaps for not very long. According to the article, Richmond and Fairfax beckon. Whereas most toques crave publicity, he seems to prefer anonymity. Don't expect him on Top Chef anytime soon.

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I particularly liked the following:

"'I think she's outdone herself today. Or she's improved the craft.' I (Mr. Trillin) had to agree. Of course, I had never before tasted Mrs. Chang's appetizers, but, whatever they'd been like, these were definitely better."

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(Imagined)

The charming ex-Mrs. Peter Chang has a divorce lawyer who noodles around DR.com, looking for clues about Peter Chang's whereabouts, thus creating many a billable hour!

Later, several bus loads of Trillin chasers, who must visit every place CT has ever written about, and many PC fanatics. and multiple Cadillac Escalade SUVs of divorce lawyers converge on Charlottesville.

Later, a very bad restaurant in Adams-Morgan announces the arrival of a new chef.

It could happen.

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The charming ex-Mrs. Peter Chang has a divorce lawyer who noodles around DR.com

His name is Dan Danmian.

And if I'm not the funniest person who has ever lived, someone please tell me who is.

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His name is Dan Danmian.

And if I'm not the funniest person who has ever lived, someone please tell me who is.

Henny Youngman?

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