China Daily Global Edition (USA)
A world of culinary delight served up in Washington
Many Americans get to know China through Chinese food, and many Americans fall in love with Chinese culture because of Chinese food, China’s ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said.
Cui made the remarks at Chinese Gourmet Night held on Thursday at the Chinese embassy, where master chefs from China demonstrated their gourmet cooking skills.
Among the guests, David J. Firestein, Perot Fellow and senior vice-president at the East West Institute, who lived in China for about five years, said he was “a huge fan of Chinese cuisine”.
“The flavors are amazing,” Firestein said. “The diversity of the food is incredible. It’s such a huge array of different kinds of styles and flavors and ingredients, that’s something that’s very striking.”
Firestein’s favorite Chinese foods are jiachangcai, or homemade dishes. He also likes Mapo Doufu, stir-fried tofu in hot sauce.
Cui explained to guests that Chinese food is a kind of philosophy.
“The good chef can create a great dish by combining different, even contradictory ingredients. It is a manifestation of Confucian thinking, coexisting harmoniously while maintaining differences,” Cui said.
Master chefs from the Chinese Cuisine Association demonstrated noodle stretching and making white sugar dressing for ice cream.
“Chinese food and culinary culture have played an important role in the people-to-people exchanges between China and the US. Thanks to the joint efforts by both sides over the decades, the relationship and cooperation between our two great countries has grown tremendously despite some ups and downs,” Cui said.
“It was great. We enjoyed it very much,” Firestein said after the dinner.