Early in 2016, I was lucky to be acquainted with Da Longkuan, the founder of Bugentuan customized travel website, at the Mount Huang Forum organized by Leadership Beyond Boundaries. When I was back in Beijing I discussed the Bugentuan’s ‘Joylife’ projects with others several times, during which time I was acquainted with Luo Yang in Huaiyang Mansion. Following Zhou Xiaoyan, known as ‘A bite of Jiangnan Man’, Luo Yang has learned not only culinary skills, but also cultivates a pure quest for delicious food. The dish ‘Perigord Truffle WensiToufu’ creatively produces the new ink art in Huaiyang cuisine.
More interestingly, Luo Yang got his first job as a waiter in Yangzhou Guest House in 1997. Similarly, I also had one year’s experience serving as a waiter in a western restaurant in 1984. The service awareness and work attitude that I developed during that period has played a role in my subsequent career development, benefiting me a lot.
As the few early restaurants that were serving foreigners, in the early 1980s the national restaurants mainly targeted the international groups in the cultural and gymnastic domains apart from foreign resident offices. I, as a new comer, personally served guests like Ali, the boxer, and Bernardo Bertolucci, the director of The Last Emperor. Some special dishes, which were praised by guests from home and abroad, still remain fresh in my memory: National Tenderloin Slices, Caucasus Tenderloin Slices, Chicken Rolls Flavoured with Butter, and German-flavoured Pork Hock, to name a few.
Memories of that time were recalled by a party in the middle of 2016. Yao Zongyi, a friend who was the cook back then, carefully prepared the ingredients of German-flavoured Pork Hock with Sauerkraut for the party several days ahead. The dish was agreeably fatty, tasted tender and soft and could even counter the effect of drinking and warm the stomach. The memory of the taste thirty years ago still lingers on…
Let’s cherish the blessing, the blessing of rewards from our relatives and friends.
What a wonderful time to drink sorghum liquor in bowls and eat pork hock with several friends deep into the night by the fire. The combination of several Chinese and western dishes with some chivalry gives birth to the New Year’s Honoured Guests Banquet to mark the landing of Mr Shan’s Kitchen in Asia Art Center.