The Inventor of Springfield-Style Cashew Chicken, David Leong, Passed Away


Aside from creating an iconic dish, that I closely associate as my husband's favorite thing to eat out, David Leong led an impressive life. Leong was a WWII veteran, he opened Leong's Teahouse in Springfield in 1963 and it stayed open until 1997, then he opened Leong's which you can still eat at on Republic Rd. near Kansas Expressway! He was also a father, grandfather, and friend to many. David Leong would have turned 100 years old next month.

My personal experience with cashew chicken didn't happen until I moved to Springfield to attend MSU in 2009 as a 19 year old. I grew up on orange chicken at mall food court chains I won't mention by name, but now have grown so accustom so Springfield Chinese that when my husband, who's from Springfield, and I go back to my hometown outside of St. Louis to visit family we won't even entertain the idea of ordering Chinese food anymore. It just doesn't compare. I will think of David Leong every time we order it now.

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