RIP Mr. Liang - We just had a lovely lunch banquet at Hop Woo Chinatown last month.
His virtuosity with a wok was legendary. With a flick of his wrist, he’d launch chunks of orange chicken into the air like a flock of birds and then catch every morsel without a single casualty.
People gasped in awe with each toss of the wok. He relished the response. The crowd’s enthusiasm relaxed me; Lupe had the demo under control. “OK, Eddie?,” he’d smile at me, knowing the answer was a resounding “Yes.”
After he finished cooking, volunteers passed samples of food to the crowd. The audience couldn’t get enough of it. The delight on Lupe’s face was priceless. Cooking was in his blood. He had cooked since he was 7 years old. Chef-life was the only life he knew.
This is lovely and may elicit tears, as well:
I always found the food amazingly consistent in quality over the years. That’s really hard to do, i also attended events there over the years or just eating in the dining room and they always went out of the way to make it special, just wonderful hospitality.