Someone Besides Us Takes Notice of Danny Bowien
Chow senior editor Lessley Anderson files a feature-length profile of Mission Chinese Food's lovable Danny Bowien, the chef with a personal style as quirky as his food vision. Actually, as Anderson's piece pays witness to, it's not as quirky as all that. Instead of keeping himself yoked to the starchy signature chef's jacket, Bowien pretty much said fuck you to the conventional chef's racket (the progression from line cook to sous to executive, all the while punching a time card). And instead of cooking in the local vernacular of polenta, Neapolitan thin crust, and chicken-under-a-brick, Bowien is assiduously hammering together something novel: a bistro-trained chef's interpretation of Chinese regional dishes filtered through the American restaurant, the way Bowien and partner Anthony Myint foud a completely cerebral way in to restructure the otherwise hackneyed burger. As for Bowien's work at Mission Chinese Food, Anderson's is the kind of trend-defining portraiture the New Yorker eats up with rosewood chopsticks, except that New York hasn't caught on to Bowien. Not yet.