Chinese Cuisine and the Shift Forwards
    2013-04-17 09:15:41      Web Editor: Duan
The vast variety of Chinese foods is proving to be an unexplored playground for modern and fusion cuisines.

Alvin Leung's take on the scallop. [Photo: Raffles Beijing Hotel]

By William Wang

Food is one edge of culture that can push forwards pretty fast. And the urban centers are where Chinese food is covering uncharted territory. Classic dishes hold their ground and always will, but sometimes sushi squeezes into the back of the same menu. Also increasingly more restaurants in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing are reinterpreting traditional Chinese cuisine in ways that would delight (and possibly disgust) the old gastronomic scholar Su Shi.

"A contemporary Chinese restaurant, to me, would be a restaurant that takes Chinese cooking and tries to expand it to a new level," quipped Time Out Beijing food editor Sean Silbert, mentioning Michelin star chef Alvin Leung, who recently visited Beijing.

Leung's restaurant, Bo Innovation, made its reputation selling "X-Treme Chinese" cuisine, a daring combination of fusion and molecular gastronomy. (Molecular gastronomy is a new culinary style which applies technological innovation to create flavors and textures previously impossible). "Leung's the kind of guy that does xiaolongbao, but with egg drop soup inside," explained Silbert. "Modern Chinese food takes Chinese culinary traditions and doesn't just run on the history, but makes it their own and does something a bit more interesting."

The vast variety of Chinese foods is proving to be an unexplored playground for modern and fusion cuisines. Fusion food is particularly relevant in today's shrinking but global-minded world. The likes of Mexican pizza or the California roll are now ubiquitous across the planet, having sunk their teeth into mainstream cuisine.

But fusion food has its share of detractors as well. Silbert, in his off-the-cuff manner, described fusion food as "stupid; and it shouldn't be encouraged." He cited chefs who slam together elements from disparate cultures to see what sticks, noting that the results are often "kitschy." He shortly remembered himself and backtracked, just a bit. "Sometimes it works ¡­ but it takes a very-trained chef to do it," he conceded.

The upcoming CRI English video series Chopsticks & Beyond is going to put Silbert's words to the test, inviting professional and hobby chefs alike to see just how the cuisine from their home country and Chinese cuisine can possibly fit together. Guests will rack their brains and taste buds to put their spin on Chinese classics.

Some segments of Chopsticks & Beyond will introduce guests to some of the more extreme sides of Chinese cuisine. In China, if it moves and has organs, there's a way to cook it. CRI is scouring the depths of the provinces to find the cuisine that will raise eyebrows and screw up faces.

One obvious requirement to be a food editor in China is an adventurous palate. But even Silbert has foods that he can't take. "Stinky tofu!" he exclaimed. "Start and end. I'll eat pretty much everything, but that one's hard for me."

Time Out Beijing and its esteemed food awards have also undeniably played a role in shaping cuisine in the capital and beyond. Their awards join those of 55 other cities around the globe, providing a local perspective to travelers from abroad. This month, Time Out will share the names of this year's best restaurants, and the people's choice awards.

Of course, top restaurants aren't built on prizes, but on solid food and service. "If you do meritable work in the restaurant field and you win a Time Out food award, that's a big deal," Silbert said, noting that last year's awards are still one of the website's most viewed pages. "People pay attention." The Time Out food awards take place April 25.

1  2  

         claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

• Mount Emei Celebrates Lantern Festival
At the night of February 10th, the night before the Lantern Festival, Mount Emei holds its annual lighting ceremony at the Dafo Temple. The ceremony attracts many people, who express expectation on well-being.
• Spring Snow at Mount Emei
Mount Emei has its first snowfall after the Start of Spring on the lunar calendar.
• More than 200,000 Tourists Visit Mount Emei During Spring Festival
More than 200,000 tourists visit Mount Emei during the Spring festival this year. The accurate number of tourists is 214,389, marking an increase of 12 percent compared with that of last year. The ticket revenue is 26 million yuan, increasing by 9.8 percent on a year basis.
• 2th International Micro-film of China National Film Festival Held in Xi'an
The second international microfilm ceremony of the China Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival was held in Xi'an, the capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on January 19, 2017. More than 500 cineastes from around the world attended the ceremony.
• China¡¯s 1st Large-Scale Snow Field Pets Festival Xiling Snow Mountain Pets Festival
On January 10, the 17th Southern China Snow and Ice Festival kicks off in Xiling Snow Mountain of Chengdu, Sichuan.
• Xiling Snow Mountain Launches Campaign of 'Love for Stray Dogs'
On January 10, the 1st Xiling Snow Mountain Pets Festival kicks off. A campaign called 'Love for Stray Dogs' is launched.

Travel Videos
• Leshan Releases Tourism Promotion Video

Leshan city in southwest China's Sichuan province releases a tourism promotion video to attract global tourists.

• Time Out Beijing Food Awards 2014: Leaning Towards Luxury
Beijingers take their food seriously, but on April 29th at the Time Out Beijing Food Awards...
• Chopsticks & Beyond, Back at the Farm
Chopsticks & Beyond takes a trip to Tootoo Organic Farm.
• Chopsticks & Beyond Mixed with Chinese and Italian
C&B invited Italian chef Mattia Salussoglia  and local chef Wei Han to teach each other how to cook a dish from their home country.

Editor's Pick
• Special Event Offers Culinary Surprises and More
Beijing's high end food scene is hardly a well-kept secret. Unless, that is, you're talking about Time Out Beijing's Kitchen X event, which was held this past Saturday evening. The event was bravely billed as ¡°the ultimate dining experience.¡± While that may be debatable, the event was definitely unique one. Diners signed up for the 888 rmb dinners, not knowing where they would go, what they would eat, or who they would eat with.
• 15 Artworks Stolen from Chinese Museum in France
15 pieces of art have been stolen from a Chinese museum south of Paris, including a cloisonn¨¦ vase from Emperor Qianlong's reign during China's Qing Dynasty. There was also a replica crown of the King of Siam given to France's emperor in the mid-19th century.
• Former TV Anchor on Crusade against Pollution
A former celebrity TV presenter has released a self-funded documentary about smog, inspired by her sick daughter.
• Chopsticks & Beyond: On Track in Tianjin
Chopsticks & Beyond took to Tianjin last Friday, where the cooking show invited a number of food industry professionals to take part in the Tianjin Snack Attack contest.
• Hilton Beijing "Fly Me to Hawaii" Food Festival Launch Party
Hilton Beijing and the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of hotels & resorts in Hawaii, together with Hawaiian Airlines have unveiled plans for a "Fly Me To Hawaii".

The Sound Stage
China Revealed
My Chinese Life
Photo Gallery
Learn Chinese
"In" Chinese
Chatting in Chinese
Pop Culture
Traditional Culture
Living Chinese
Chinese Studio
Chinese Class
Learn English
Special English
Pop Chart
Everyday English
Fabulous Snaps
CRI News  | Xinhua  | People's Daily Online   |  | China Daily  |  Global Times  | China Job  |  China Tibet Online  |  | eBeijing  | Beijing Today  | China-Eurasia Expo  | APEC Yiwu Conference  | Chinese Embassy in S.Africa  | Chinese Embassy in Australia  | Chinese Embassy in NZ