Zak Pelaccio has been getting an earful from some Asian-Americans over Chop Suey, the name of his latest project as Consulting Chef of the Future. At least among the ones who commented on Grub Street, the prevailing feeling seemed to be that, political aspects aside, the name was just dumb: “Chop Suey is such a HORRIBLE NAME! Not only is it NOT Korean generally, the name “chop suey” or ‘za sui,’ when used in Chinese, has the meaning of cooked animal offal or entrails.” “Zak needs help picking names of his restaurants … Chicken Bone? FATTY Crab, Chop Suey?” “My GOD. chop suey is the stupidest name for any kind of restaurant Pelaccio has come up with to date.”
Well, Chop Suey’s reps write us to say that the name isn’t Zak’s and that, furthermore, the whole reaction is overblown. The reason? The Renaissance Times Square, which owns Chop Suey, says it’s like this:
[We] selected the name Chop Suey as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the well known Chinese-American interpretation of blended Asian cuisines. Having just returned from Seoul at the time, Zak’s extraordinary experience in Korea heavily influenced the development of the restaurant concept. However, like the multicultural crossroads of its Times Square location, Chop Suey’s menu will reflect a wide variety of Asian cuisines and American influences.
So there you have it. Maybe it’s not such a bad name after all. Or at least you can’t blame Pelaccio for it.