Although Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) is still a month away, many people in Shanghai are starting to make preparations to welcome the Spring Festival Eve.
Most hotels in Shanghai are already fully booked now for the feast at the Spring Festival Eve and many people are thinking about where to eat on the Eve and how. Some people choose to go home and dine with family members. So it might be a good idea to pay for a chef to cook at home or order some half-finished food in advance.
At the Shanghai Jiayan Catering Service Center, customers keep calling in arranging a chef that would come to their house to cook the dinner at Spring Festival Eve.
A staff member in the center told the reporter that all the chefs in their center had been "booked" for the Spring Festival Eve feast. However, there were still many customers who called in to "place their orders". In a website, the reporter saw that although the price for a feast at home was by no means cheap, reservations had already been arranged for the second, or even the third day of the Spring Festival season.
"All chefs in our center will have to cook dinner for at least two families at the Spring Festival Eve. The early dinner will start at 4:30 in the afternoon and the second dinner usually begins at 7:30 in the evening. Some chefs will have to work even later than that," said Yang Haiying, deputy general manager at the Shanghai Jiayan Catering Service Center.
In case they cannot find chefs to cook for them, some residents also plan to order some half-finished food and cook at home to make a large feast on the Eve. Although the half-finished food will not be made until a week before the Spring Festival, reservations have already started now.
(Chinanews January 18, 2007)