San Francisco Mayor Launches the 2017 Chengdu Food And Culture Festival

Sometimes, no make that often times, when you get hungry in the evening, nothing will hit the spot better than a Chinese Sichuan dish.

Just the right spices, warmth and smoothness as it goes down. article, photo By Archon6812 at en.wikipedia, wikimedia

Now for a little history.

Sichuan, formerly Romanized as Szechuan, is a province in southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains in the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. Sichuan's capital city is Chengdu.

In antiquity, Sichuan was the home of the ancient states of Ba and Shu. Their conquest by Qin strengthened it and paved the way for the First Emperor's unification of China under the Qin Dynasty.

The people of Sichuan speak a unique form of Mandarin, which took shape during the area's repopulation under the Ming. The family of dialects is now spoken by about 120 million people, which would make it the 10th most spoken language in the world if counted separately.

The global leader in travel information, Lonely Planet shares some insight on the region. “Capital Chéngdū shows a modern face, but just beyond its bustling ring roads you'll find a more traditional landscape of mist-shrouded, sacred mountains, and a countryside scattered with ancient villages and cliffs of carved Buddhas. Central Sìchuān is also home to the giant panda, the most famous face in China. In the south, expect a veil of history and a muted beauty that sees far fewer travellers than the rest of the region.”

The global news source adds, “Sichuanese is China's most thrilling regional cuisine.

Although it's most famous for its electrifying use of chilies and lip-tingling Sichuan peppercorns, the heart of the local style of cooking lies in the artful mixing of flavors. Sichuanese cooks excel at combining hot, numbing, sweet, sour, savory and nutty seasonings to create an astonishing variety of flavors.”

There are numerous tasty Sichuan (Szechuan) dishes. Here are two that stand out.

Kung Pao Chicken is a spicy stir-fry Chinese dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. article, photo By FotoosVanRobin from Netherlands - La Zi Ji (Chicken with Chiles)Uploaded by Partyzan wikimedia

The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving. Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine.

Here is another one. Yummy.

Laziji ,"chillies (and) chicken"), is a dish of Sichuan cuisine.

It is a stir-fried dish, which consists of marinated then deep-fried pieces of chicken, dried Sichuan chilli peppers, spicy bean paste, Sichuan peppers, garlic, and ginger.

Toasted sesame seeds and sliced spring onions are often used to garnish the dish. Diners use chopsticks to pick out the pieces of chicken, leaving the chilies in the bowl.

Are you getting hungry for some Sichuan?

San Francisco is a fantastic place for Sichuan cuisine and the mayor of this special northern metropolis is leading the way.

Mayor Lee Launches the 2017 Chengdu Food And

Culture Festival article, photo via SFGate

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Acclaimed chefs from Chengdu to partner with local restaurants to showcase gourmet Sichuan cuisine in the Bay Area

San Francisco, CA – Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Vice Mayor Liu Xiao Liu of Chengdu, China and other dignitaries today celebrated the official kickoff of the 2017 Chengdu Food and Culture Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The people of San Francisco and Chengdu share many cultural similarities, including a deep appreciation for great food,” said Mayor Lee. “We are excited to continue and expand our success from last year in promoting Sichuan cuisine. Food is a universal language that helps bond people from different places together.”

This year’s gala will feature authentic Chengdu cuisine, special brews, dancers, opera performers and other artists visiting from Chengdu. The Chengdu Food and Cultural Festival kickoff at City Hall will feature drinks and a full tasting menu served from multiple food stations, all staffed by Chengdu’s top chefs and assisted by some of the Bay Area’s most renowned chefs. Bay Area cooking icon Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook is overseeing the entire culinary operation.

“It’s a special honor to work with such great culinary talents,” said Yan. “I am learning so much from my Chengdu and Bay Area colleagues and I am very grateful for such a privilege.”

The 2017 festival will run for two weeks. After the opening night gala, there will be “Chengdu Days” around the Bay Area. On November 2, the festival will visit the International House at UC Berkeley, showcasing an evening of Chengdu cuisine and entertainment for UC Berkeley students and officials. The Chengdu delegation will also visit various Bay Area technology companies to promote Chengdu cuisine and culture.

In addition, there will be three Chengdu-themed dinners open to the general public. This year’s list of restaurants will be M.Y. China in San Francisco, Koi Palace in Milpitas and Chef Chu’s in Los Altos. Each restaurant will feature a different Chengdu-inspired menu for their evening.

As an outreach to the future generations of San Francisco, the city of Chengdu has sent 300 clay panda statues to the San Francisco Unified School District. Students from various elementary schools have decorated the pandas and a selection of the pandas will be featured at the gala in City Hall. Pandas are native to Sichuan Province in China. Chengdu is the provincial capital of Sichuan and designated as the City of Gastronomy by UNESCO in 2010.

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OPENING PHOTO article, photo By Steven G. Johnson - Own work wikimedia









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