The design of our brand new kitchen has been meticulously planned to deliver the caliber of food that we always dream about — the best Chinese cooking offered anywhere.
It's our goal that people will no longer need to hop on a plane to savor their favorite Chinese dishes. Carrying on the culinary heritage of old China matters to us and to JOSS/Chinese Haute Cuisine's appreciative clientele. It's a must that JOSS CUISINE/Traditional continues to live up to the high level as stated by the legendary columnist, Liz Smith who said:
"Joss gives Chinese its best name yet."
Coming from someone who frequents the best places around the globe, we say thank you to her and promise that we are committed to providing both her and her readers extraordinary food. To prepare for the task, the chef owner, Golo Kwokson Yu, took extensive food tasting trips around China after the old JOSS closed. He was guided by food aficionados, close friends of Cecile T'ang, on a tour from one city to another.
Let us share some thoughts on why Chinese food is seldom extraordinary in this country. Our simple explanation is that fine food is an art form; any form of art can only flourish with the support of an educated patron base. Chinese food started off imperfectly in this country when it was introduced on a mass scale by immigrant laborers who, unfortunately, did not have the opportunity to develop a refined palate, nor did they have the luxury of being exposed to fine cuisine before leaving their homeland. Needless to say, their food found no sophisticated patrons.
Elitist as it may sound, the taste for fine food must be cultivated, as in other forms of the applied arts. Artists who create must have knowledge and exposure, besides skill and sensitivities. Unlike fine art, innate talent is determinant. In this case, cultivation might even hinder its vitality and originality at times.
Cooking, however, is not a pure art form; we see it rather as an applied art form, like couture, furniture design, wine making, architecture and so on.
Take a look at mainland China before its present day economic growth. As close to perhaps only ten years ago, the food in mainland China might as well be inedible. A refined food culture thousands of years old withered away in the proletariat society enforced by the Communist regime. Without the support of knowledgeable patrons, fine food subsequently died off.
History and social changes have everything to do with food culture. When the Communists took over mainland China and drove the so-called "decadent class" to Taiwan and Hong Kong, a vibrant food scene, fabulous and sumptuous emerged again, creating an exciting new era for food enthusiasts.
Taipei, cut off from the mainland, might not have available any red-robe Szechuan peppercorn, yet it produced phenomenal Szechuan dishes forever lodged in one's memory. Then there was Hong Kong, long exposed to European cuisine and stimulated by exotic Chinese regional cooking, which began to develop its own nouvelle cuisine simultaneously with the happenings in Paris.
The era lasted nearly four decades. Again, social changes took place, only gradually this time around. Emigration of the affluent class increased day by day as the threat of Communism appeared plausible. Patrons and their star chefs scattered all over the globe.
Eventually, extraordinary food is no longer a norm but a rare find in both places today. What remains prominently is the food culture of the new tycoons, when the size of the abalone and the exorbitant price of shark fin soup define the quality of the food they extravagantly show off.
But why don't the lauded chefs bring along their expertise to their new locations overseas? Again, this is due to the lack of support of an enthusiastic, knowledgeable patron base. As it turns out, the experienced chefs are disappointed to find that they came abroad to face a severely competitive mass immigrant market, forcing them to offer cheaper fares, one more so than others to survive. Extraordinary food, again as in art, has to be supported by a large number of appreciative patrons; otherwise the creative gifts of a talented chef would be wasted, like the old Chinese saying, "playing a lute for cows."
Reviews of the original JOSS/Chinese Haute Cuisine:
"An eye opener" - Los Angeles Times
"They refined food, like the wines, and represent the best of its kind" - Gourmet Magazine
"Masterpiece after masterpiece" - Hong Kong Ming Pao
"The most charming and unique Chinese restaurant" - Japanese Food Service Magazine
"One of the top 35 restaurants in town" - German Gourmet
"Four-star status" - ABC Food Show
"One of USA's best restaurants featuring authentic Chinese coooking" - USA Today
"Joss, the elegant Beverly Hills Chinese restaurant that just keeps getting better" - Gault Millau's Barometer Column