by Xinhua Writers Zhong Ya, Wang Yi
BEIJING/PRAGUE, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The first Chinese Sichuan Food Festival held in Celakovice, a town in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic on Friday, introduced locals to oriental cuisine and facilitated people-to-people and cultural exchanges between both countries.
The food festival, jointly held by China's Chengdu Restaurant and the government of Celakovice, invited Sichuan chef Xie Junxian to the scene to introduce the cooking concepts of Chinese food.
"Healthy is the nature of Chinese food, and pursuing excellent color, smell and flavor is the soul of Chinese cuisine," he said.
Xie also performed cutting food blindfolded, food carving and other cooking skills, which were eye-openers for the local audience.
Sichuan food features bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from the liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, while Czech food is known for its thickness, white color and diverse flavors, yet is seldom spicy.
"Every nation has its own food culture, but we have pursuing good flavor in common. Delicious cuisine binds us together. Only the most outstanding chefs can create the best flavor, and Mr. Xie is one of them. I feel so honored to have Mr. Xie here to provide us with Chinese delicacies," Mayor of Celakovice Petr Patek said at the opening ceremony of the food festival.
The visitors took an active part in various activities organized by the food festival, such as making dumplings, a kind of food enjoyed by people in both the Asian country and the Central European country that are thousands of miles apart.
"This is the first time for Chinese restaurants and the local government to jointly hold a Chinese food festival in the Czech Republic. The next food festival will also include Czech food and even cooking contests between Chinese and Czech chefs, to make the festival more fun and abundant, thus building a platform for China-Czech cultural exchanges," said Wang Yong, the CEO of Chengdu Restaurant, co-host of the food festival.
Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Liu Yunshan arrived in Romania on July 12 for a week-long official goodwill visit both to Romania and the Czech Republic.
Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, invited by Deputy Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of the Czech Republic Jan Hamacek, also speaker of the Czech lower house of parliament, will stay in the Czech Republic until July 19.
China and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries need to promote institutionalized people-to-people exchanges and help people of both sides to gain a better understanding of one another, Liu said at the China-CEE countries' political parties dialogue held in Romania on Friday.
"The CPC is willing to work together with political parties of the CEE countries to build bridges of communication to facilitate cooperation between the localities and businesses of China and the CEE countries," he said.