A cook’s New Year’s Dinner
China Business Daily (reporter Ma Jiwen/photo) There are two kinds of Spring Festival, one is the Spring Festival of most people, busy to the end of the year in the kitchen to show their skills, for the family to prepare a table dinner, complete the most festive sense of the Spring Festival;The other is the chef’s Lunar New Year, with POTS and pans on the stove in front of him and dozens of dishes ordered behind him. Mr. Fung, 51, executive chef of Chinese food at Renaissance Beijing Hotel, can’t cook a New Year’s Dinner for his family again this year.Feng Yiu-sheng, executive chef of Chinese food at Renaissance Beijing Hotel, prepares the Chinese New Year’s Eve dish “Wind and Landscape rise”.A saucepan, a spatula and a chef’s uniform are all fung yiu-sheng’s New Year’s Eve gear.”Our Chinese restaurant is fully booked with seats, balcony seats and all price sets for the Lunar New Year’s Eve dinner.Let’s all take it seriously.”As the head chef, Feng not only confirms various food orders, checks the safety of ingredients, but also cheers up the chefs who can’t go home on New Year’s Eve.Feng told China Business Daily that he hoped customers who ate the dish would enjoy a prosperous life in the coming year.For Mr. Fung, this is the fifth New Year’s Eve dinner that has not been cooked for his family.In other words, this is the fifth Spring Festival without going home.It is common for chefs to cook a New Year’s Eve dinner for customers they have never met, but it is very rare to cook a New Year’s Eve dinner for family members.”I’ve been working outside the home for more than 20 years, and it’s rare for a chef to spend the Spring Festival at home.”Feng told China Business Daily: “My deepest memory of New Year’s Eve dinner is the dinner I cooked for my family in 2016. That year, I rarely had a chance to go home on vacation. The three of us cooked for the elderly together in the kitchen, and even my daughter, who seldom cooks, was very happy.”Every chef who is on the move is in the heart of his family.Every year when the Spring Festival is approaching, Feng always receives a call from his family asking whether he can come back for the Spring Festival this year. Every time, he lightly answers, “I don’t know yet, but I will try my best to come back,” without disclosing the tone that worries his family.When asked if he was homesick, he said in a choked voice, “Who doesn’t miss home? I can’t help it. You can’t worry your family when you go out.”Mr. Fung has also incorporated homesickness into his dishes.Chef Fung, who was born in Shunde, Guangdong Province, also wants customers to “taste” happiness from their homemade lunar New Year’s Eve dinners.”When guests come to dinner on New Year’s Eve, we treat them as family and prepare the dinner for them.On The previous New Year’s Eve, I would come out of the kitchen to interact with guests, say hello and send greetings. It was like a family holiday.”Amid the pandemic, the Renaissance Beijing R&F Hotel where Feng works is one of the largest hotels in the business district.More than 20 of Mr. Fung’s team of chefs stayed at work and did not go home for the holiday.Feng told China Business Daily that due to COVID-19, food ingredients need more testing procedures, especially food that needs to be transported by cold chain, so more staff will be kept on post to ensure food supply and food safety.”We need to pay more attention to food preservation.Chilled ingredients such as salmon must be sealed, vacuum-packed individually and stored at minus 10 to 12 degrees Celsius.In addition, during the Spring Festival, the seafood market will also be closed, so we must prepare goods according to this time.The food needs to be sterilized and stored in cold storage.”Mr. Fung said.For cooks, the preparation is just the curtain raiser. The real test comes on New Year’s Eve.The guests came one after another, and each table had a different time.The chef had to cook one dish after another for hours on end, and special personnel were required to take charge of steaming boxes, cutting and matching, wok and cold dishes.The cooks who didn’t go home gathered around to celebrate the New Year.The guests dispersed and the cooks’ reunion dinner was put on the table.As in most dinner scenes, Mr. Fung and his colleagues sat around, toasting and exchanging New Year’s greetings.The difference is that before they start eating, the cooks will pick up their mobile phones and take a video to their family members far away, saying the same sentence — “We are spending the Spring Festival together, and we will go home after finishing this period of time.”Fung introduced the New Year’s Eve dinner to reporters.Feng told China Business Daily that after the Spring Festival, when the epidemic situation is better, he will apply for a vacation to go home and cook a good meal for his family.