The 2017 Chengdu Food and Culture Festival was launched in the San Francisco Bay Area on Oct.31. Mayor of San Francisco Edwin M. Lee, Vice Mayor of Chengdu Liu Xiaoliu and other dignitaries celebrated the official kickoff of the Festival.
Acclaimed chefs from Chengdu will partner with local restaurants to showcase Sichuan cuisine in the Bay Area in the period of the two-week festival.
The festival includes a series of activities focusing on food and Foodies will get the second chance to taste the authentic food of Chengdu, a UNESCO City of Gastronomy and one of the best culinary destinations in China.
As the largest ever and most magnificent culinary festival held abroad by Chengdu, the 2016 Chengdu Food & Cultural Festival kicked off on November 10 last year in San Francisco, with great success.
"The people of San Francisco and Chengdu share many cultural similarities, including a deep appreciation for great food," said Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco, "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 opening ceremony at City Hall on the evening of Nov.1 featured 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.
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.
Before the event, 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 opening gala in City Hall on Nov.1. Pandas are native to Sichuan Province in China.
In addition, there will be three Chengdu-themed dinners open to the general public. Each restaurant will feature a different Chengdu-inspired menu for their evening.
"We wish American people can taste the authentic Chengdu delicacies, while having more knowledge about our culinary culture and tradition,"said Liu Xiaoliu, Vice Mayor of Chengdu. She also expressed that she hoped more hi-tech companies in Silicon Valley could pay closer attention to Chengdu through the cultural food event, and the two cities could explore more cooperation and exchanges on more aspects in years to come, such as further cooperation in art, cultural & creative industries, education and hi-tech industries.