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Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence
Lawrence C. C. Chu  

Lawrence C. C. Chu
Executive Chef and
Owner Chef Chu’s Restaurant and
Co-Founder Asian Chefs Association

The Top 100 Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding individuals in the Chinese Restaurant industry whose pioneering spirit and demonstrated inventiveness throughout their careers has improved the Chinese restaurant industry and inspired others. This year we are honored to present this award to Lawrence C.C. Chu.

Lawrence Chu was born in Sichuan, China in 1943 during the war. In 1963, Chef Chu moved to the United States to join his family. In 1970, he began Chef Chu’s as a small takeout eatery. In 1971, his family restaurant began with its first expansion. While working, he attended Canada College in 1972 to learn from his professor and mentor, Alec Cline. He saw how a western professional kitchen should be equipped compared to a Chinese kitchen, and learned how to manage professional food service.

1970 through 1979 was the early foundation of Chef Chu’s. He used what he learned in college to improve and upgrade his facilities. He was also busy starting his family with his wife, Ruth, and enjoyed the birth of his five children: Larry Jr., Christina, Howard, Jennifer, and Jonathan.

In 1983, Chef Chu published his first cookbook, Distinctive Cuisine of China, compiling his recipes and revising in 1996. In 1984, he led his first culinary tour to China. Today, he is publishing a commemorative anniversary cookbook—Celebrating Your Table at My Place, it encompasses new dishes and celebrates the 40 year anniversary of Chef Chu's in 2010.

One of Chef Chu’s proudest moments occured in 1987 when the Chu couple was invited to the White House and State Department by Secretary of State George P.Shultz for a state banquet.

The res taurant moved f rom a family restaurant to a new level of fine dining through Chu’s philosophy and energy. His three philosophies are: 1) Personal touch, acknowledge customers the minute they enter. 2) As a chef and owner, Chu sets the standard in the kitchen for consistency in food preparation and presentation. 3) The menu should be exciting and reflect the lifestyle of today.

It is important for Chu to give back to the community. He is proud to serve as one of the co-founders of the Asian Chefs Association, providing a forum for chefs to share their business experiences and support local and world causes.

Chef Chu has gained public recognition through prestigious awards by local and national organizations, newspapers, and professional institutions for leadership in the food industry. He is proud of participating with the team invited to cook at the James Beard Foundation in 2003. In the 2009, the Asian Chefs Association team competed, by invitation only, in the World Culinary Competition in Taiwan, and they won the silver metal.

Chef Chu’s continuous dream is to upgrade and improve the restaurant to a new level of dining, to do more teaching and traveling to Asia.