In NewsWhistle’s weekly question-and-answer series, Clara Morgan speaks with some of the world’s top beauty and style influencers and finds out more about their lives and career.
This week, Clara speaks with Steve Boxer, COO of Philippe Chow, the New York eatery that’s celebrating its 10th Anniversary.
The luxe Chinese restaurant has cemented its reputation as an A-List celebrity hotspot, with notable guests over the years including Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna, Beyonce, Adam Sandler, Derrick Rose, Drew Barrymore, Kylie Jenner, Kobe Bryant, Nathan Lane, Queen Latifah, Rick Ross, Charlie Rose and Sir Paul McCartney to name a few.
The eatery’s unique menu prepared by Chef Philippe Chow himself features delectable dishes such as its famous Chicken Satay, award-winning Roasted Peking Duck and Green Prawns.
After years of success working in the garment industry, Boxer decided to take steps necessary to join the hospitality industry and purchased an interest in the restaurant. In addition to leading the day-to-day operations of Philippe, he invests time and money to philanthropic endeavors, particularly on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association – New York City Chapter.
For more information on Philippe Chow, visit: www.philippechow.com
1. What was it about New York City that led you to move there?
NYC is the city that never sleeps. It was this philosophy that led me to NYC. I love the constant activity, endless concerts & shows as well as the never ending selection of great restaurants.
2. What led to you joining the hospitality industry with the purchase of Philippe Chow?
As a customer of Philippe, I knew that it was a great brand that had tremendous potential. Being that I enjoy socializing with people & have many years of business experience, this was a natural fit for me.
3. If you could meet anyone in the world, who do you want to meet? And why?
I would have to say John Lennon is someone I wish I could have met. Aside from his Beatles fame, which was very inspirational to me growing up, it was his belief in giving peace a chance. The world needs more people who can inspire peace, love and change in a positive way & not at the cost of others rights.
4. Who influences your personal style? What about that piques your interest?
My father was the biggest influence on me. He taught me honesty, values & to be fair to everyone.
5. Proudest career moment? What about that moment was so special to you?
After a successful career in the garment industry I went back to school at night for my MBA. The day I graduated & was able to show my daughter that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible, had to be my proudest moment.
6. If you were not a leading figure in the hospitality field, what would you want to be and why?
I would be a philanthropist, as I am today. I believe that it is our obligation in life to share our successes with others & to use our resources to make the world a better place for everyone.
7. What is your favorite dish on the menu at Philippe Chow? Does that particular dish have any meaning for you?
There are so many dishes on the menu that I love. Our Peking Duck is a signature dish of ours that we are known for around the world. However, the Crispy Beef is also one of my favorite dishes. It is sweet & crispy and is like eating candy instead of dinner. I like to order a big plate of it to watch the Super Bowl with my friends. We pick at it with our chopsticks in place of chips.
8. Any advice for others entering your profession?
Do so at your own risk and be prepared to make many personal sacrifices. Owning a restaurant requires a 7 day/week commitment. Time off is very limited & you must have a very understanding family. If you don’t put in the time, it is very easy to lose control of your business & in turn you will lose your restaurant. However, if you are fortunate & put in the time, this can be a most rewarding profession.
9. Best international dining experience you’ve ever had?
Years ago when I was in the garment business, I travelled to the Far East many times. My most memorable dining experience was in Hong Kong. We had our agents order so many specialty dishes that I probably would not have known to order or would have even tried.
10. What’s your favorite vacation spot and hotel? Does it have any personal significance on your life?
Turks & Caicos is probably my favorite vacation spot. This is where I experienced scuba & skydiving for my first time. It is also where I took my significant other on one of our first vacations, which brings back a flood of great memories.
11. Which three items must you always have in your possession? Why are they so important?
In hospitality, you must always be accessible to your guests & staff. I must always have with me my smart phone, iPad & business cards.
12. What song can you listen to on repeat?
“Your Song” by Elton John
Lead-In Image Courtesy of Steve Boxer