XIAN ZHANG 张弦
Currently I am working on our next restaurant concept, as well as continuing tostrengthen our current ones. Also, I’m going to try to visit as many interesting places as time allows, and try out different foods around the world.
What was your first job, and how did it shape your life?
My first job involved selling expensive cutlery to people who didn’t need them or want them. I was in high school and I was told I would make $10 per hour plus commission by just doing jumping jacks with my customers. It was an effective sales tactic, I was told. $10 in 1993 was a big deal so I was really excited.
What keeps you awake at night?
I sleep like a log.
What books are currently on your bedside table?
“Shark Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet and Sour Memoir of Eating in China” by Fuchsia Dunlop.
When do you feel most free?
I’m a morning person and I feel most free when I get up at 7:30am and go for a jog.
WHAT’S YOUR VIEW ON MONEY?
Don’t get greedy. Nothing good will come out of it.
WHAT WAS THE LAST PRESENT YOU RECEIVED?
For my birthday last year Yiming took me to Danny Meyer’s newest restaurant, Untitled. It was a lovely evening and I was stuffed. After dinner I wanted to go back to our restaurant, China Blue, since it was a Friday night and I was a little worried. As I showed up the restaurant was half empty as it was past 10 o’clock. Out of nowhere staff from Café China and China Blue popped out with three birthday cakes and sang the birthday song for me. I was really surprised. Yiming had planned it all along and executed it perfectly.
WHAT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY PLACE YOU HAVE RECENTLY TRAVELED TO?
In 2014 we went Yunnan, China. It was an amazing place. The terrain was so varied and difficult that the province boasts 23 different minority ethnicities living in villages that were still pretty well preserved.
WHAT’S ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
When I was growing up I wanted to become a zoologist.