Philippe’s PR has now issued a statement defending itself against one of the many claims in the lawsuit Mr. Chow has filed — that Chak Yam Chau changed his name to Philippe Chow in order to confuse and lure away Mr. Chow’s customers. Which is just a little bit self-defeating, since they don’t bother to defend themselves against all the other claims! But hey, it’s still early in the game and we’re sure the publicists and lawyers have a lot more to say about this. Here’s the statement.
New York, NY (July 9, 2009)-Philippe Chow, Chef/owner of Philippe restaurants, would like to confirm that he did in fact change his name from Chak Yam Chau to the more westernized Philippe Chow, when he arrived here from Hong Kong in 1977. From that point on, everyone in his life, including family, friends, employers and even the US government have known him as Philippe Chow. Many people, including Michael Chow, who was born Zhōu Yinghua, change their given Chinese names to make them more familiar to the English speaking population.
Since opening his own successful restaurants over 4 years ago, Chef Philippe Chow has gone out of his way to make it known that he is in no way related to restaurateur and art collector Michael Chow. “I specifically chose to name my restaurant Philippe to alleviate any confusion with Mr. Chow. I have nothing but respect for Michael Chow, and the fact that we have the same last name is pure coincidence,” says Philippe Chow.
While there are Philippe and Mr. Chow outposts in several of the same cities, there is clearly enough demand for high-end Chinese cuisine to keep both restaurants busy. Chef Philippe Chow has created his own niche and his loyal following has been the reason for the success of his five Philippe restaurants.