Elegant dishes, intricate knife skills, retention of the ingredients' original flavor, slightly sweet and almost never spicy: all these elements play a crucial role in Huaiyang cuisine, the most popular and prestigious of Chinese culinary styles.
The city of Huaian in north central Jiangsu province has witnessed a blossoming of Huaiyang cuisine. Jiangsu Food and Pharmaceutical Science College (JFPC) has further fueled the region's culinary prosperity by fostering the development of numerous professionals.
Hoping to bring Huaiyang cuisine to a wider audience, the school delivers edible art to foreigners' tables while presenting its own educational prowess on larger international stages.
A delegation of JFPC students and teachers, all skilled in Huaiyang cuisine, visited Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland, in the United States, to present their distinct culinary art to local students.
The masters' deft handling of tofu, sliced or julienned while retaining their stability and shape, dazzled the 500-strong audience, which included several local officials.
Spectators were even more astounded by the chefs' seasoning of tofu with nothing but chicken soup and freshwater fish, two favored ingredients known to Chinese as particularly tasty.
Under the guidance of the JFPC team, the Americans tried their hands at selecting materials and ingredients, learning knife techniques, moderately seasoning a dish, and attempting to retain the original flavor, freshness and texture of the food.
Peony Fish – a dish in which freshwater fish is sliced, deboned, arranged in the shape of a peony flower and seasoned with stewed fish soup – was one of many dishes to have delighted the taste buds of both Chinese and US participants.
The two schools also launched a joint training center specializing in the Chinese culinary arts, taking their existing 2016 cooperation agreement to new heights and encouraging more frequent exchanges between Chinese and US students and teachers.