We can't really claim Peter Chang as a Knoxvillian for one major reason: He's already vamoosed. But the ever-moving Chinese chef with a national following that tracks his every culinary stop did have a long Knoxville stay as the chef of Hong Kong House--the Chinese restaurant in the strip mall with the TJ Maxx on Kingston Pike. Yeah, that one.
You may have asked yourself, "How did a strip-mall Chinese chef become so famous among chow hounds? How did the chef for the Chinese Embassy end up here?"
Now you can find out, as one of our nation's finest food writers, Calvin Trillin, investigates what he calls the "Changians" in the March 1 New Yorker. (For some reason, the New Yorker believes readers must pay to read its content, but you can at least see an excerpt here.)
In 2008, our reviewer wasn't altogether as impressed with Hong Kong House's food as the Changians, but now we'll all have to road trip to Charlottesville for Chang's a Taste of China.