Celebri­ties join quest for to­tal dining ex­pe­ri­ence

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By XULIN xulin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ac­tress Li Bing­bing, food critic Shen Hongfei and de­signer Lu Hongzhong shared their dining ex­pe­ri­ences on July 18 at the launch­ing cer­e­mony of Bud­weiser Supreme Best Dining Ex­pe­ri­ence Award for the best res­tau­rant in Bei­jing, Shang­hai, Guangzhou and Shen­zhen.

Shen and Lu are two of the panel’s judges. Any­one can share their dining sto­ries by log­ging in the res­tau­rant-rat­ing and group-buy­ing ser­vice provider Dian­ping.com. The re­sults will come out by yearend.

“It’s a very in­ter­est­ing con­test. Food, food cul­ture and res­tau­rant de­signs such as table­ware are our as­sess­ment stan­dards,” says Shen, who is a con­sul­tant for the widely ac­claimed food doc­u­men­tary A Bite of China, pro­duced by Cen­tral China Tele­vi­sion.

Shen says that to most cus­tomers, a res­tau­rant’s at­mos­phere, their own mood and the com­pany of peo­ple there also af­fect their dining ex­pe­ri­ences.

“The com­bi­na­tion can make you en­joy more of your meals and life as well,” says Li, who is presently en­joy­ing a fresh bout of pop­u­lar­ity fol­low­ing her per­for­mance in the Hol­ly­wood block­buster Transformers: Age of Ex­tinc­tion.

“You can’t en­joy de­li­cious food by eat­ing alone, be­cause the dining ex­pe­ri­ence is about shar­ing with oth­ers. It’s a re­lax­ation as well. You can also un­der­stand dif­fer­ent cul­tures via dining.”

She says peo­ple have dif­fer­ent pref­er­ences when seek­ing a per­fect food ex­pe­ri­ence. For ex­am­ple, she likes to drink beer in a goblet.

Li says she gets homesick when she goes abroad but feels much bet­ter when she takes out her chop­sticks. It makes her feel she is hav­ing Chi­nese food even when she eats Western food with chop­sticks.

“I am the best spokes­woman for Chi­nese food and I’d like to have it wher­ever I am. My fa­vorite food in summer is hot­pot and beer,” she says jok­ingly.

“WhenI was in theUn­tied Stated learn­ing English, I shared with my Amer­i­can friends the Chi­nese cui­sine cul­ture and how to make healthy por­ridges.”

Shen no­tices that, com­pared with more than a decade ago, many Chi­nese peo­ple have tasted many de­li­cious foods due to ris­ing in­comes, and now they tend to eat some tra­di­tional things that are rooted in their cul­ture, such as foods they used to eat dur­ing child­hood.

“Many awards talk about food it­self, butwe­fo­cus on the food ex­pe­ri­ence, which is not only about food, but also about con­text, and de­sign and the story about the res­tau­rant,” says Alexan­der Lam­brecht, direc­tor of global brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev Asia Pa­cific.

“Chi­nese dining cul­ture is evolv­ing very quickly. We’re com­mit­ted to help shape the Chi­nese dining land­scape step by step, through cre­at­ing the best ex­pe­ri­ence that in­cor­po­rates food, cul­ture and de­sign,” he says.

Seafood is also highly rec­om­mended in Flamme res­tau­rant, in ad­di­tion to its sig­na­ture steak.

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