Chefs work to preserve Sichuan cuisine, traditional Chinese dishes

CCTV News

Chefs work to preserve Sichuan cuisine, traditional Chinese dishes 2

Sichuan cuisine has long been one of China’s favorite styles of dining. Its bold flavor, particularly the spiciness, is increasingly winning popularity in the world.

But in Chengdu City, the capital of Sichuan Province, there’s a sense of panic wafting in the air for the region’s most celebrated cooking.

CCTV’s Tao Yuan reports.

Chefs work to preserve Sichuan cuisine, traditional Chinese dishes

Chefs work to preserve Sichuan cuisine, traditional Chinese dishes

Sichuan cuisine has long been one of China's favorite styles of dining. Its bold flavor, particularly the spiciness, is increasingly winning popularity in the world. CCTV’s Tao Yuan reports.

It’s a bustling food scene in China’s food capital. From rowdy street-style dining, or chic modern restaurants with a touch a bourgeois atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.

But beyond the energetic dining boom, some argue, there’s chaos.

“I said they are a cooking disaster. They said, ‘Well, customers like it.’ So this is a story of when the willy-nilly chefs meet the willy-nilly customers,” retired chef, Wang Kaifa, said.

Wang Kaifa started a mission to preserve tradition. He and dozens of his friends started a club, called the Sichuan Old Chefs Traditional Skills Exchange Society. Every week, they meet to swap recipes and opinions against what they see as the downgrade of standards.

A disconcerting trend for some but it’s certainly gaining traction.

Now at the age of 71, he and his students are also doing something unheard of, promoting what they dubbed “refined Sichuan cuisine,” making the dishes suitable for the most graceful of occasions.