'Crazy Rich Asians' director grew up around dad's world-famous Bay Area Chinese restaurant

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"My parents bought me books on film making, didn't expect me to go into the family business or be a doctor. My family catered my first short screening, my first movie "Titanic Prom," said Jon Chu, who grew up in his father's famous Los Altos restaurant, Chef Chu's. (KGO-TV)

A pioneering Bay Area Chinese restaurant that's constantly ranked among the nation's best played host to a Hollywood party. The owner has a special connection to the director of the upcoming film, "Crazy Rich Asians."

ABC7 News' Kristen Sze calls the owner of Chef Chu's "Uncle Larry." She has known him since she was little. His restaurant is a favorite among celebrities like Serena Williams, John F. Kennedy Jr., former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and more.

Their pictures on the wall mark a far cry from his humble beginnings.

VIDEO: 'Crazy Rich Asians' is more than a rom-com, it's a ground-breaker for Asian-Americans
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"My parents bought me books on film making, didn't expect me to go into the family business or be a doctor. My family catered my first short screening, my first movie "Titanic Prom," said Jon Chu, who grew up in his father's famous San Francisco restaurant, Chef Chu's.



Chu left China during World War II and at age 19 he immigrated to the U.S., earning a living working in restaurants before opening his own in 1970. Chef Chu's was initially a takeout spot but with delicious dishes, its reputation grew.

"I wanted to do something different," said Chu. "Chinese food can be innovative."

But the fame Chu has garnered is now being surpassed by the fame of his son. Jon Chu, 38, may have grown up in the restaurant, but his passion was always film. His parents fully supported that passion.

"My parents bought me books on film making, didn't expect me to go into the family business or be a doctor. My family catered my first short screening, my first movie "Titanic Prom."


After his student project at USC got Hollywood's attention, more projects followed including, "Now You See Me 2."

"Crazy Rich Asians" is his latest and perhaps his most important. The romantic comedy based on Kevin Kwan's international best-selling novel is the first Asian-American focused studio movie since the "Joy Luck Club" 25 years ago.

The central character is an American professor named Rachel who grew up in Cupertino and discovers that her boyfriend, Nick, comes from one of the wealthiest families in Singapore.

They are "crazy rich."

Constance Wu, star of ABC's sitcom "Fresh Off the Boat," plays Rachel. British-Malaysian actor Henry Golding plays Nick.

The stakes are crazy high for "Crazy Rich Asians," visit this page to see why this is a landmark film for Hollywood and Asian-Americans.

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