It's Official!

It may be early to celebrate the actual holiday, but it’s not too early to celebrate that the Lunar New Year will be recognized as an official public school holiday in New York! Today, mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, (yes, I met him! There’s proof in the Photo Album), has declared that all New York public schools will have off for the Lunar New Year starting this upcoming year. What better way to celebrate than with traditional tips and tricks from one of the world’s beloved restaurant owners, Philip Chiang of P.F. Chang’s?

Celebrating this incredible NYC decision!

Very few things have the power to bring a family together like a holiday celebration. Whether it is preparing the meal together, going out to eat together or gathering at the dining room table, holiday dining is a cherished tradition that helps us to catch up with family and friends by gathering together for a festive cause.

I had the opportunity to meet with Philip Chiang, a dad and the co-founder of P.F. Chang’s Chinese Bistro, who dished out some fun traditions and recipes for delicious food to help everyone celebrate new beginnings and good fortune. (Lunar New Year might come in February, but this recipe is just as good during any season!)

Behind-the-scenes of a P.F. Chang's kitchen with Philip Chiang himself!
Behind-the-scenes of a P.F. Chang’s kitchen with Philip Chiang himself!

One can argue that food is at the center of many holidays, and the Lunar New Year is nothing different. “Food is a very important way for families to celebrate the Lunar New Year. P.F. Chang’s is inviting people everywhere to share this special tradition with a meaningful meal,” said Philip Chiang, the co-founder of the restaurant chain. Chiang grew up celebrating the Lunar New Year with his family and has fond memories of all the children making dumplings during the wintertime, as well as celebrating with a three-day hometown feast where everyone ate and played mahjong together.

The Lunar New Year is known to bring prosperity, longevity and health, especially

And, of course, Philip Chiang, my plus one and I after the 8-course meal!
And, of course, Philip Chiang, my plus one and I after the 8-course meal!

if one chooses to celebrate with the proper symbols. Chiang gave us the scoop on a couple of traditions that he has followed throughout the years including both dressing and decorating with the color red, which “represents prosperity and also drives away evil,” Chiang explains.

Chiang was generous enough to share the recipe for his best-selling and most famous dish, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, so that everyone can have the option of celebrating the Lunar New Year with their family at home as well. The Cantonese word for “lettuce” sounds like “rising fortune,” which means that “the more you eat, the more fortune you will have.”

So what are you waiting for? Check out this super easy and delicious recipe HERE and let’s get cookin’!

Stay classy! xx