Xi’an Seeks “Capital of International Cuisines” As a New Calling Card



It is the end of a year, when numerous local enterprises of catering industry in Xi’an are heatedly discussing an honorable title—“Capital of International Cuisines”, which is closely related to the development of the industry. Since the work of application was initiated by the Xi’an Municipal Government, it has drawn the wide attention from inside and outside the industry. As revealed by the Beijing-based World Federation of Chinese Catering Industry, the result of the evaluation will be made known today.

With Profound History│ Xi’an Speeds Up Internationalization

According to Gao Weiping, President of Xi’an Municipal Catering Industry Association, on Feb 21 this year, Xi’an Bureau of Commerce and Xi’an Municipal Hotel and Catering Industry Association made the joint application for the honorary title in Beijing, and to that end, the municipal government set up a special body in charge of this work. At the end of November and early December of this year, the panel of World Federation of Chinese Catering Industry made site inspection and review of the preparatory work of this application, interviewing the targeted food streets, representative enterprises of various cuisines, resources of food materials, culinary schools, etc.

The panel were deeply impressed by the rich variety of Shaanxi local snacks of the folk culture villages in the inspection of Bailucang (Warehouses of White Deer Plain) scenic spot; and by the some 50 kinds of food which are intangible heritages of Shaanxi in Yongxingfang scenic spot. They also inquired about the history, feature and inheritance of the food and cooking skills, which have displayed the “flavor of Xi’an” of the grassroots to the panel.

But in the Silk Road Style Street of Tang West Market, a commercial complex run by the municipal government, there is “international” flavor here and there: the mixed smell of curry, pickled vegetable, mustard from Indian restaurants, South Korean grill houses, Japanese cuisine restaurants presents a rich and varied taste experience. Muslim Quarter, which has been the internationalized block since the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), with the deep rooting of the Muslim food culture, displays a unique landscape of Islam with the mosques and street buildings. During the inspection, the panel had to wait in line together with the large number of tourists for the delicious food to be served by waiters dressed in ethnic style costumes.

In Lao Sun Jia restaurant, an old and famous eatery, experts of the panel were interested by the fact that it is not only a restaurant but it also opens a special museum of West China halal food culture. They were all impressed by the exhibits, instruction and experience in the museum and gave their appreciation of the halal cuisine presented. In the inspection of the supermarkets of fresh goods and the project of breakfast, experts learnt about the financial support given by the local government to livelihood projects. They also knew in the visit to culinary schools the large scale of employment of several hundred thousand people in food industry in Xi’an. The experts hoped the local food industry should tell the “Xi’an story” in a better manner so as to promote more brands to the international market. 

Capital of Cuisine│ Xi’an Deserves the Title

The restaurant Datang Boxiangfu is located next to the famous scenic spot Greater Wild Goose Pagoda of 1,000 years of history. Liu Xiaozhong, General Manager of the restaurant said that they have re-created the feudal official style cuisine of Shaanxi based on the historical recordings. Experts then inspected the whole process of the cuisine and tasted the food so prepared before giving their comments that the high-end Shaanxi cuisine has strong cultural deposits, and that Xi’an as the capital city of Shaanxi could not be left ignored in terms of food culture.  

Niu Lingdi, Deputy General Manager of Xi’an Catering Co. Ltd, said that the review and evaluation of the experts shows that our city as a whole is of international competitiveness, and that as a time-honored brand in catering industry of Xi’an, we will work hard to offer best food to visitors around the world, develop the traditional cooking skills, improve the brand quality and make contribution to improving the image of Xi’an by taking advantage of the  city’s location as the starting point of “Silk Road” and the “Belt and Road Initiative”.

Redfort Restaurant has been settled in Tang West Market, Xi’an for 5 years. When it came to the reason why to open a restaurant here, the Indian founder Dev Raturi said that compared with other cities in China, Xi’an has closer cultural ties with India by the Silk Road and the story of pilgrimage for Buddhist scriptures, and that he highly appreciated the city itself. He also said that the market has offered a number of incentive policies such as rent exemption at the initial stage and during the five years they got the support they have already opened 7 branches in other parts of China such as Chengdu and Hangzhou starting from Xi’an, and that the market potential in Xi’an and China is huge. 

With long history of good food, the good stories and tastes of Xi’an are eager to be displayed to the world, and the honorable title “Capital of International Cuisines” will surely promote the exchanges and cooperation between the city and the rest of the world, and drive the development of city internationalization by attracting more and more food enterprises from other countries.

[Source:Xi’an Evening]