Chengdu special: Food festival serves up special cultural feast

Authors: China Daily


The 13th Chengdu Food and Tourism Festival was held in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, from Sept 26 to Oct 8.
The 13th Chengdu Food and Tourism Festival was held in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province, from Sept 26 to Oct 8.
This year's event was held at one main venue and nine satellite venues across the city. The main venue was the Eastern Suburb Memory, a former TV cathode tube factory converted into an art and leisure park in the east of the city.
The branch venues include Wide and Narrow Alleys, Wenshufang Cultural Block, Kuixinglou Street and Jiuyanqiao Bridge, all of which are famous tourist spots or blocks featuring typical Sichuan food culture.
The 13-day event attracted 2.28 million visitors, generating a total revenue of 72.5 million yuan ($10.9 million, 9.7 million euros), according to the event's organizing committee.
A wide range of traditional cuisine and drinks from both Sichuan and other provinces were on offer at the event.
"In a departure from previous sessions, this year's event focused more on cultural creativity," said Li Chuan, president of Chengdu Radio and Television and deputy director of the event organizing committee.
He said big data analysis indicates that people care more about the art and entertainment aspect of the event than the food.
A range of different activities were held at the venues, including a creative bazaar, cooking contests and cultural exhibitions.
A food forum was also held during the event, at which experts discussed how food connects to design, architecture, literature and technology.
A newly developed smart catering car was also unveiled during the event.
The car allows customers to locate it through WeChat or a special app, and order meals online.
They can then either go to the catering car in person to get their food or have it delivered to them.
Yang Junming, manager of Chengdu Zhengyuan Yonghe Trading Co Ltd, the company that developed the catering car, said the car's technology can ensure food safety through its ability to trace every link in the supply chain.
It also receives online evaluations from customers.
The food and tourism festival was a hot topic online, with statistics from showing that 6.26 million people viewed topics and threads related to the event. Two live broadcasts from the festival received 238,000 likes on Sina Weibo.
In addition, more than 5 million people from Europe, North America and Oceania viewed festival-related topics and videos via international platforms such as Google, YouTube and Twitter.
"Through the combination of Chengdu's food and creative cultures, the event aims to help the city become a center of cultural creativity in western China, as well as a world-renowned city of culture," Li said.
Chengdu was awarded the title "City of Gastronomy" by UNESCO in 2010, making it the first Asian city to win such an honor.
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