Chuan (Tom) Tien Li has been a
Chef since the age of 16 in his native country of Taiwan. Chuan
came to the United States in 1984 and his wife Hsiu (Sho) Kuan Li
followed in 1985. They first worked together at the same
restaurant in Houston, TX before moving to Madison. It was good
fortune that they ate with friends at a restaurant whose owner was
looking to sell. Thus, with some hard work and bank loans the Red
Pepper Chinese Restaurant and Lounge (1518 N. Stoughton Road) was born.
Hsiu states, "The hardest thing for us was getting our name out
there. This is one of the reasons we named our restaurant 'Red Pepper'
to show that we have spicy cuisine and that we are unique. We did
not advertise in any media outlets, people came to our restaurant by
word of mouth. We keep prices low to stay in competition and we offer
authentic Chinese dishes but with a different flare. We use better
ingredients, plus everything is fresh; fresh vegetables, fresh meats,
seafood and poultry".
"From the restaurant in Texas that we owned, we brought in new
dishes as well as diet dishes. Dishes that were not available in
other Chinese restaurants in the area.
Chuan and Hsiu make sure their customers feel comfortable and relaxed
with excellent food and friendly service, working side by side, as they
have for 20 years in the business. Their secret is that they are a
great team, and they look forward to their new ventures in food and
giving Madison great cuisine.