NEW YORK, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Joyce Fox, a 64-year-old New Yorker, switched her usual afternoon plan of hanging out with friends to attending a culinary class during the ongoing Shanghai Food Festival and Tourism Promotion.
For Fox, it was a moment of closer bond with the unique and spectacular culinary culture that she was really into and a rare chance to learn how to make authentic Shanghai cuisine.
Shanghai Food Festival and Tourism Promotion event is underway on Nov. 19-21 at Macy's flagship store in New York.
Themed "Eat, Love, Shanghai," the event features a free taste of Shanghai's signature food including Xiaolongbao (steamed soup dumplings), Qingtuan (green sticky rice balls) and savory mooncakes, as well as a cooking class during which three Chinese chefs demonstrated how to make the above delicacies.
"I'm always amazed at my Chinese friend's cooking skills. It's exciting to have a try myself," said Fox while busy making Xiaolongbao.
The green hand folded the dough attentively and snapped a selfie with her first Chinese culinary works after completion.
Describing the experience as "an interesting adventure of exploring a different culture", Fox said she would like to practice more at home since food generally serves as a natural gateway to the essence of the culture it represents.
Along with Fox were some 20 New Yorkers in the two-hour class. While enjoying the hands-on experience, they kept asking questions ranging from the recipe of filling to the proper way of steaming.
"It's quite difficult for me to fold it into proper shape. But as a first try, I am satisfied," said 78-year-old Ira Slutzky, a retired engineer and ardent fan of Chinese food, adding that he had been to China several times and expects to travel to Shanghai in the near future.
"Shanghai is a city of rich and unique details among which food is an integral part," said Cheng Meihong, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, co-organizer of the event, adding that it is always the right time to visit Shanghai since the city has so much to offer.
Nestling between the Yangtze River and the Pacific Ocean, Shanghai's defining character of openness, creativity and tolerance has helped cultivate its spectacular culinary culture.
In 2016, Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration and NYC & Company jointly announced that the two cities had formed a city-to-city tourism partnership to promote tourism in both cities.
The "Eat, Love, Shanghai" promotional event was a key event to mark the second anniversary of the partnership between the two cities.
"New York is a center of diversified cultures and Shanghai is a great collaborator with us," Makiko Matsuda Healy, managing director of Tourism Market Development from NYC & Company, said.
"The event is beneficial to the enhancement of in-depth understanding for both cities which share a lot in common," she added.