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Behind the Review: What’s in a name?

Chef Peter Cheng. Or is it Chang?

Chef Peter Cheng. Or is it Chang?

Before writing today’s review of Peter Cheng Cuisine, I sat down with a restaurant manager to go over many details that confused me about the liquor license, the hours of operation and the composition of several dishes I tried.

I double checked all the information, and just before leaving asked if the restaurant was named Peter Chang Cuisine or Peter Chang Chinese Cuisine, as I had seen it written both ways.

“Neither,” she said, taking a to-go menu and clearly writing out “Peter Cheng Cuisine.” Cheng with an “e,” not Chang with an “a.”

But both the menu and the sign by the road had it spelled “Chang.” The chef, who is well known, has always been called Peter Chang.

But then I recalled: no, he hasn’t. When he first came to town several years ago to cook at Tasty China, I wrote a small story about him. I asked for the spelling of his name and was told to write it “Zhang.” We switched to “Chang” soon thereafter.

I actually tried to argue the case for the more common spelling with the manager, but she was adamant — to the point that she called Peter Cheng over to the table for his personal assurance that the name of the restaurant was “Peter Cheng Cuisine” to reflect the preferred spelling of his name.

I don’t quite get it, but I was happy to respect their wishes. And the AJC copy editors were very nice about it!

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[...] admin wrote an interesting post today Here’s a quick excerpt Before writing today’s review of Peter Cheng Cuisine, I sat down with a restaurant manager to go over many details that confused me about the liquor license, the hours of operation and the composition of several dishes I tried. … [...]

[...] the original here: Behind the Review: Peter Cheng Cuisine | Food and More with John … Uncategorized ajc, atlanta, budget-loving, kessler, kessler-discuss, [...]

tb

February 11th, 2011
10:38 pm

Thanks for the review. I can’t wait to go. As for the name, the New Yorker had him as Chang in their
March 25, 2010 article entitled “CHEF PETER CHANG DISAPPEARS AGAIN.”

BuHi

February 12th, 2011
8:42 am

You never win when you try to Romanize Chinese. His name was written on the specials board at Tasty China as “Zhang” a few months ago. I was at Peter Chang’s the night it opened – on leaving I asked for their phone number. They didn’t have a phone yet, so the hostess wrote down Peter’s cell # and spelled it “Chang”. Ultimately, I doubt Peter cares about the Romanized spelling as long as you pronounce it correctly…

Bride of Puerquito

February 12th, 2011
6:10 pm

it’s called transliteration…

BuHi

February 13th, 2011
4:50 pm

Bride of Puerquito – it’s also called Romanization.

Rule .303

February 14th, 2011
11:56 am

Made my head spin with this entry John, so here’s some help:

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it’s Turkish delight on a moonlit night

Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you’ve a date in Constantinople
She’ll be waiting in Istanbul

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it I can’t say
People just liked it better that way

So take me back to Constantinople
No, you can’t go back to Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That’s nobody’s business but the Turks

Lorenzo

February 14th, 2011
12:06 pm

I believe Romanization is a specific instance of transliteration. When linguists refer to how a Chinese name is written in Roman letters, the term “Romanization” is almost always used.

John Kessler

February 14th, 2011
7:33 pm

303: They Might be Giants?

Rule .303

February 15th, 2011
9:29 am

John, of course :)
That’s all I could think about while reading this entry…lol

David Jarrett

February 17th, 2011
12:27 am

No matter how you spell it I believe his wife makes the outstanding appetizers and Gu’s Bistro has even better versions of the same dishes