David R. Chan, 64, is an L.A. attorney who’s eaten at almost seven thousand Chinese restaurants. He’s documented his experiences on an Excel spreadsheet.
A mind like a gastronomic encyclopedia, Chan is familiar with Chinese restaurants from Canada to LA, to small towns in the rural south, and many cities in between.
It was after finishing college at UCLA and working in an accounting office where Chan discovered his love of Chinese food. Befriending a group of co-workers from Hong Kong, the group would regularly try out new Chinese restaurants for luncheon outings–challenging themselves to try as many as they could.
“I’ve always been a collector. I collected stamps, and records,” Chan told the LA Times.
By 1985, Chan had sampled over 86 restaurants, soon the number was over 100, and within a few years it was over 500.
An avid traveler, Chan used his obsession with Chinese food to travel across the country–criss-crossing the US to taste the various preparations of Orange chicken, Kung-Po beef, and Dim Sum offerings.
He never hits the same spot twice and he doesn’t know how to use chopsticks.