A New Generation of Cooks is Remaking Chinatown

Regina Schrambling

To hear 97-year-old Cecilia Chiang tell it—and she does not get much argument—Chinese-American food can be divided into two eras, BC and AC: Before Cecilia and After Cecilia. When she opened the Mandarin in San Francisco in 1960, she says, every restaurant in Chinatown offered the same food, none of which was familiar to an immigrant who was raised on the real thing. She expected dumplings and pork belly but found chop...