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A chef's fantastic feast fit for television

By : China Daily | Published: 2013-December-30

The marriage of Chinese traditional food with Western cuisine presentation has inspired many new dishes among Chinese chefs in Beijing. But it demands great experience and knowledge in both Chinese and Western cuisine, as well as flexible, creative thinking.

A successful example emerged recently at a media dinner at Hotel Eclat Beijing. Executive chef Liu Xin re-presented eight dishes. The dishes helped him to win a chef's competition on China Central TV's France Chef China program (CCTV-2).

Liu competed against a team of Italian chefs in Milan, Italy, in August. Some of his winning dishes, now presented at the Eclat, were orange-smoked yellowtail fillet with Japanese natto, Beijing-style lamb spatzle, Angus-beef tenderloin with Sichuan pepper sauce and dark-beer sorbet.

Angus-beef tenderloin with Sichuan pepper sauce. [China Daily]

Yellowtail fillet with Japanese natto.

Hotel Eclat Beijing's general manager Wessel Krauss says the general principle of the menu is to prepare distinctly Chinese foods in a Western fashion, making it easy for both Chinese and Western customers to appreciate the dishes.

Liu's dishes perfectly reflect that methodology. Smoked fish is a traditional Huaiyang-style dish with a sweet flavor. But the chef gives it an orange flavor, a Western approach. The orange and fish matches well. At the same time, it is a beautiful presentation.

Lamb soup spatzle is probably inspired by dough-drop soup and Shaanxi-style shredded flour cake in lamb soup. But Liu's presentation looks better than both, while tasting as good as any.

Pairing mushroom with goat cheese, and Angus-beef tenderloin with Sichuan pepper sauce, was both innovative and delectable.

It was interesting to hear the owners of Batzella introducing their wines at the media dinner. With vineyards in Bolgheri, Tuscany, Batzella wines are designed to taste differently from the start. Its label Tam (Vietnamese for "heart") offers an impressively melting sensation both in the mouth and in the body.

Chef Liu used organic vegetables provided from Yunnan by Haobao Organic Farm, and grass-fed and free-range meat from Pure South in New Zealand.

According to Krauss, the hotel opened in March is committed to the art of living. It has introduced Chinese artists, sharing the legacy of Dali sculptures and offering design pieces from designers, such as Mendini, Timothy Oulton or Tom Dixon.

Chef Liu's eight-course dinner is available at the hotel's Lagoon Suite.

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