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Chef Paul's: A Chinatown Hot Spot Serves Up Creole Sauce, Shrimp And Grits

Alice Daniel
A Mural of Jazz Musicians Gives the Cafe A New Orleans Kind of Vibe

Today on Valley Edition, we're taking you to Fresno's Chinatown. And we're starting at Chef Paul's Cafe.

Credit Alice Daniel /
Customers can sit at the tile counter and watch as their meals are prepared right in front of them.

People come from all over the state to try Chef Paul Pearson's recipes but the cafe is only open because someone bet him $1,000 that he couldn't keep a restaurant afloat in Chinatown.

Credit Alice Daniel /
Chef Paul Pearson (left) gets visitors from all over the state. Eddie Wu Tangzy (middle) not only cooks, he also sings songs about the cafe.

Chef Paul's is brimming with the lunch crowd. There’s a funky mural on the wall of jazz musicians playing at a bar. And the clientele is really diverse. There are suits and hipsters, and everyone in between. When you walk out it feels like you’re leaving an urban hot spot. But shut the door behind you and you’re back to a part of downtown that sometimes feels abandoned.

Monica Velez was a reporter at Valley Public Radio. She started out as a print reporter covering health issues in Merced County at the Merced Sun-Star.
Alice Daniel was News Director for KVPR from 2019-2022. Daniel has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and more than 25 years of experience as a print and radio journalist.