It would be difficult to look at Yan Huiqin's resume without being amazed. Over the past three decades, as a chef, she has laid on more than 500 state banquets, serving some 300 foreign leaders.
She has been awarded such honors as "National Labor Model", "Specialty Talent of Shanghai" and "The Golden Goblet Award for Chefs," all attributed to her diligence and innovation.
Yan studies many different kinds of cooking and creates dishes in a balanced mix of styles. Each time she prepares for a state banquet, she carefully researches the culinary requirements of the visiting country. For her, an understanding of traditional ingredients, preferred flavors and dietary habits will hold the key to a well-prepared banquet.
Preparing banquets for the guests at last year's Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit left Yan scratching her head. Some guests didn't eat seafood, some were vegetarians, and one first lady was even allergic to strawberries. However, Yan, experienced and innovative as always, prepared several "Just for You" menus and every guest was satisfied.
Former French President Jacques Chirac once praised Yan's cooking as an art.