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Chefs Most Popular People on Lunar New Year's Eve
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Instead of booking a feast this Lunar New Year's Eve at a restaurant, the latest trend in Huludao City in northeastern China's Liaoning Province is people hiring chefs to cook dinner for their families at home.

A source from a local newspaper says at a cost of 200 to 300 RMB per dinner, the chefs in local hotels and restaurants are almost completely booked for Spring Festival Eve.

A local resident, surnamed Wang, says he and his wife usually make New Year's Eve dinner at home, but because they do, they can never enjoy the Spring Festival gala. They have also tried eating at restaurants, but the atmosphere is never as good as they want. Therefore, this year, they have decided to hire a cook themselves, which they say will allow them to enjoy the service of a restaurant while avoiding its noise at the same time.

The manager of a hotel in the city, surnamed Li, told a reporter they have received many calls from people seeking to hire cooks for the Spring Festival. But, with reservations going fast, some have had to settle for take away dinners instead.

This year's Spring Festival falls on February 18, but Chinese people begin celebrating on New Year's Eve or February 17. New Year's Eve dinner is one of the most important parts of the celebration, with delicious food and the Spring Festival gala on China Central Television (CCTV) there for the entire family to enjoy together. 

(CRI February 17, 2007)

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