Culture Article

Melina Rauter
/ Categories: News, Culture, Food

Shenzhen Chefs bring Cantonese Flavours to London in Culinary Exchange

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is just around the corner and festive spirits are already flourishing throughout Britain. Locals are immersing themselves in the event through traditional Chinese culinary experiences and various celebratory activities. This year, which marks the Year of the Dragon, adds a layer of significance to the festivities. The Dragon, a symbol of power, strength, and good luck in Chinese culture, influences many themed events and decorations, promising an even more vibrant celebration of this ancient festival that honours family, and tradition, and ushers in prosperity and renewal.

At a Chinese culinary tasting event hosted at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel in London on Friday, February 2, four expert chefs from the Shenzhen Culinary Association showcased the unique features of Cantonese Cuisine. They detailed the cooking techniques and offered attendees the opportunity to participate in preparing and sampling a traditional Chinese New Years Eve feast.

Cantonese-style New Year Dinner Food Display at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel (Image: Ruoxi Zhu)

The tasting event featured dishes like Cantonese Roasted Char Siu, Chilled Yellow Croaker, and Salt and Pepper Tender Tofu, representing three primary streams of Cantonese Cuisine. Liu YongZhong, the chairman of the Shenzhen Culinary Association, noted that while in London, chefs from Shenzhen shared knowledge and techniques with British chefs and experimented with incorporating local ingredients into Cantonese dishes. An example of this fusion was the use of Scottish lamb to create a unique dish called Fried Rice Cake with Lamb Meat.

Cantonese-style New Year Dinner Food Display at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel (Image: Ruoxi Zhu)

Cantonese-style Deserts Display at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel (Image: Ruoxi Zhu)

This culinary event was a segment of the "A Bite of China" 2024 initiative. Serving as a key component of the worldwide "Happy Chinese New Year" celebrations, "A Bite of China" seeks to introduce Chinese culinary traditions across the globe. Launched in 2016, it has been hosted in over 20 countries to date, establishing itself as a crucial conduit for fostering a deeper appreciation of Chinese culture among international audiences.

'A Bite of China' Poster (Image: Ruoxi Zhu)

Renowned chefs from Shenzhen are also set to conduct a Cantonese Cuisine cooking workshop at the City of Bristol College on Monday, February 5, introducing the New Years Eve dinner to Bristol. Culinary students at the college will have the opportunity to closely watch the Chinese chefs' cooking methods, assist in preparing the dishes, sample Chinese New Year delicacies, and exchange their culinary experiences with the visiting master chefs.

Li Da Cheng, David, posing with his desert creations (Image: Ruoxi Zhu)

This year, the Chinese New Year is celebrated on February 10. Between January 29 and February 12, fifty distinctive red London buses adorned with the ‘Nihao China’ tourism campaign, the Happy Chinese New Year emblem, and the fortunate image of the Chinese dragon will traverse famous London sites including Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and St. Paul's Cathedral. These buses aim to spread the joy and blessings of the Spring Festival to both locals and international visitors.

Group Photo of the professional Shenzhen Chefs (Image: Ruoxi Zhu)

Melina RauterKailun Sui

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