The Sauces That Put Philippe Chow On The Map - Exclusive

When Executive Chef Philippe Chow opened his eponymous restaurant, Philippe, in New York City in 2005, it made a splash and quickly became known as one of the best Chinese restaurants in Manhattan. Chow specializes in bringing Beijing-style Chinese cuisine to American diners with classic dishes that are elevated and uniquely his own. We recently spoke with Chow for an exclusive interview during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, where he showcased one of the most popular menu items at Philippe, his iconic chicken satay skewers.

Chicken satay can be found in many Chinese restaurants, but Chow's preparation is distinct and particularly special. He told us, "The sauce, I make, not too many people make that sauce. This is important, it's the secret, the secret to the chicken satay." Bringing a deep savory richness to the dish, peanuts are the core of the satay sauce that is generously slathered on Chow's chicken satay skewers. But, the satay sauce is only one of the many sauces that Chow is known for, which are all sumptuous and delicious.

Chow's specialty sauces

When Philippe first opened, the restaurant had a tremendous impact on bringing the delicacies of Chinese cuisine from Beijing to New York diners. Specifically, the restaurant helped introduce some staple Chinese preparations and sauces that were previously less well-known in the United States. The sauces that Chow believes bolstered his career early on because of their instantaneous popularity were "the black bean sauce and the garlic sauce."

Black bean sauce has a rich flavor that is conjured by mixing together ingredients like soy sauce, fermented black beans, garlic, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and rice wine. Black bean sauce is excellent when paired with meat, vegetables, and tofu. Garlic sauce has become somewhat ubiquitous on Chinese restaurant menus and is regularly composed of chili sauce, Chinese rice wine, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. The sauce is a hit on most dishes but is a particular standout when used in stir-fry. Since Chow can't share all of the secrets to his signature sauces with us, we recommend visiting Philippe to try them firsthand.