Engaging Parents in Fine Dining Experiences
Douglas Chau, a food influencer, seized the opportunity of his parents’ visit from New York to the Bay Area to plan an extensive array of dining experiences. His itinerary included a variety of local eateries, such as Baekjong, Koi Palace, and culminated in a sophisticated meal at Kiln, a new establishment in Hayes Valley by chef John Wesley. Chau’s parents, not usually patrons of upscale dining, were introduced to a world of gourmet cuisine they hadn’t explored before.
Chau was intrigued by how his traditionally economical parents would perceive the fine dining scene, with its reputation for petite, pricey servings. This curiosity led to the creation of engaging videos documenting their experiences, particularly at Kiln. The video showcasing their dinner at Kiln resonated with many, amassing over 64,000 likes and sparking conversations about cultural attitudes towards frugality and luxury.
Tiffany and Wilson Chau, Douglas’s parents, have their roots in Hong Kong and have been residents of Flushing, Queens since their college days. With retirement on the horizon, they’ve shown an increased willingness to try new experiences, a shift that Douglas was keen to encourage. This led to the spontaneous decision to dine at Kiln, where they were presented with a 22-course meal featuring a diverse selection of dishes.
The meal was a journey through flavors and presentations, from the initial surprise of an elaborately plated dish on a wooden block to the enjoyment of a Norwegian king crab in a rich tomato-miso sauce. Despite some dishes not meeting their expectations, the overall experience was a positive one, challenging their palates and offering a new perspective on food.
Douglas found the experience at Kiln, priced at $225 per person, to be valuable, offering a glimpse into the potential of culinary artistry. While not a regular patron of fine dining, he appreciates the creativity and flavors that such experiences can offer.
Beyond social media engagement, Douglas had a personal motive for documenting the dining experiences. He wanted to create lasting memories with his parents, capturing moments of affection often less visible in Asian families. This trip was as much about creating a visual legacy as it was about exploring gastronomy.
After a series of meals across the Bay Area, the Chau family’s gastronomic journey concluded with a perfect score for a dim sum meal at Mayflower Seafood Restaurant in Milpitas, a testament to the enduring appeal of familiar comforts alongside new culinary adventures.