Ancient History of Uncle Tai’s
Wan Dah “Uncle Tai” began learning the cooking trade at age 13 in Shanghai. After apprenticing for more than 10 years with the master chefs of Hunan-style cuisine, he arrived in New York in 1967 and soon earned the accolades of sophisticated food critics such as Craig Claiborne, who dubbed him one of New York’s finest chefs.
Regarded as the high priest of Hunan cooking, Uncle Tai moved to Houston in 1979 to open his own restaurant. From there, he soon opened up a restaurant in Dallas. Then in 1987, he opened up Uncle Tai’s in Boca Raton, and then 1993 in Atlanta.
His sons work alongside, continuing in the family tradition. James (Chen Hwa) is in the kitchen; Andy (Foo Hwa) and Jeff (Chiang Hwa) operate the day-to-day business of Uncle Tai’s Texas restaurants while Howard (Chi Hwa) heads up the Boca Raton restaurant in Boca Center.
Howard Tai, a personable perfectionist, coordinates the activities of all restaurants, overseeing the food preparation and service. Howard maintains the family philosophy on judging a good Oriental restaurant- “A meat dish should be prepared with at least 70% meat and 30% vegetable to be considered first class.”
However, Howard believes that the important thing to maintain is the quality and integrity of the food and presentation and he will not compromise in that respect. “We serve Oriental food of the highest quality and include many unique offerings. To those discerning people who know and recognize fine cuisine, we are a discriminating choice for dining out in Boca Raton.”