China is on the cusp of finding its place in the culinary realm and will, no doubt, show anyone willing to try it just how great its food can be. The culinary artistry that figures in classical Chinese training is very specific. When skill sets such as carving, mastering dough and knife skills (including using just a cleaver) are as basic as a French-trained chef demonstrating their mastery over sauces, grilling and roasting, the sea of cultural difference widens dramatically.
To be a chef was a trade that seemed doomed not so long ago in the PRC as the profession fell out of favour, but it is now being embraced and appreciated once again. China has legendary food stretching back through its history. And, now, we’re thankfully living this history as chefs slowly reveal themselves and share their knowledge with a new generation, continuing the traditions of their craft. Chinese chefs are culinary underdogs, who deserve lavish praise for allowing us the rarified experience of what it’s like to eat as emperors did.
Tiandi stands out as the best in town, with the prowess and skilful artistry of chef Zhang Shaogang at its head. Not only is his legendary foie gras touched by sake a gift from heaven, but it’s the product of someone who remains a constant student, using unusual ingredients to play with classical tradition and technique. A meal at Tiandi, in its stunning surroundings, is like none other and sure to please.