Growing up working at his family’s restaurant, chef Alan Yuen learned how to be patient, work hard, and be a perfectionist. But he hated it.
“I did everything I could to get away from the kitchen,” he said. “And I did. I went into advertising.”
But when his father became ill, Yuen came back to Logan Square to run Friendship Chinese Restaurant. Returning after a break gave him a new perspective on his family’s establishment, he said.
“[It’s the] same place but everything is different,” he said. “I see beauty in it. I see excitement, I see challenge, and I see fun.”
Yuen combines traditional Chinese and French cooking techniques, but eschews the “fusion” label as a term with “no substance.”
“I’m just using one element from the Chinese, and then one element from the French, and incorporating it,” he explained. “I call it collective.”