The founder of famed Peking duck restaurant chain Da Dong, Mr. Dong Zhenxiang, recently spent an afternoon at IFTM to share with students his vision of gastronomy, and to give an introduction on his latest book. He was accompanied on his visit to the Institute by Da Dong group’s Executive Chef Sun Xianhou, who led a master class at IFTM on Beijing cuisine.
The activities were part of a series of master class sessions, each promoting a particular Chinese regional cuisine. The sessions are being held by IFTM in partnership with the Wynn Food and Beverage Academy, the latter an in-house educational unit of integrated resort operator Wynn Macau Ltd.
The master classes are linked to the “Wynn Guest Chef Series” by Wynn Macau Ltd. Under the initiative, the integrated resort operator is bringing to Macao leading chefs from across the country, to present special menus at restaurants in the Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace Cotai properties. While in town, the chefs are also devoting time to sharing their culinary expertise with local students.
Mr. Dong’s visit to IFTM took place on 15 April. It included a book launch event at the Educational Restaurant to mark the official release of his latest book, called “Landscape and Soul (Shan Shui Yu Xin Di)”. It is a collection of articles he published between 2006 and 2016, focusing on his vision of gastronomy.
“Over those 10 years, my cooking style matured,” Mr. Dong told the audience. “Food is more than just food: it is not only for filling the stomach, but it also carries the history and culture of its host society.”
Mr. Dong, one of China’s leading celebrity chefs, said his restaurants aimed to provide diners with not only a dining experience but also a cultural experience. He has coined the term Yijing cuisine, meaning an ‘artistic conception of Chinese cuisine’, to describe his food philosophy.
“Yijing cuisine integrates Chinese traditional recipes with advanced cooking concepts, Chinese poetry, and Chinese and Western art skills,” he said during the book launch. “Each dish in this cuisine is an artwork; it is to be appreciated and for tasting.”
Mr. Dong’s debut as a restaurateur was in 1985, with the establishment of his first restaurant in Beijing. From then, and over the following 35 years, he moved from a single location to multiple outlets, extending his presence to other Chinese cities.
Mr. Dong has helped bring innovation to methods of preparing and cooking Peking duck. His dishes are often described as blending Chinese culinary traditions with modern international influences. The Da Dong chain’s cuisine has been recognised by respected best-restaurant lists such as the Michelin Guide and the Black Pearl Restaurant Guide. Its restaurants are also commonly a must-visit for foreign dignitaries while they are in Beijing.
Before Mr. Dong’s book launch, Executive Chef Sun from the Da Dong group led a master class at the Demo Kitchen on IFTM’s Mong-Há Campus. Attendees included a number of chefs enrolled with the Wynn Food and Beverage Academy, as well as students and staff from IFTM.
Participants had the chance to learn about the essence and concepts behind some Da Dong signature dishes. That included details on recipes, mise-en-place and key issues of the production process. The session also included a demonstration of how to prepare 2 Da Dong dishes.
The master class on Beijing cuisine was the third of the series being co-hosted by IFTM and the Wynn Food and Beverage Academy. The series features a total of 11 sessions and runs until 24 June.
The Coordinator for Food and Beverage Courses at the IFTM School of Continuing Education, Mr. Edwyn Tam Chi Fai, says the master class series targets people working in the food and beverage industry and IFTM students enrolled on the Culinary Arts Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme.
“IFTM cooperates with different organisations to offer chances for members of the industry and students to engage in exchanges and other learning activities,” he says.
Parties interested in learning more about the master class series at IFTM can contact the Institute via (+853) 2853 1252.
Master class series – full programme
|1 April||Sichuan Cuisine|
|8 April||Chaozhou Cuisine|
|15 April||Beijing Cuisine|
|22 April||Yellow Croaker Banquet|
|29 April||New Hunan Cuisine|
|13 May||Jiang Nan Cuisine|
|27 May||Fusion Cuisine|
|3 June||Fusion Cuisine|
|10 June||Suzhou Cuisine|
|17 June||Chaozhou and Cantonese Cuisine|
|24 June||Huaiyang Cuisine|
Note: All master classes start at 15:00 and last 2 hours.