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More Chefs to Be Trained for 2008
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Beijing will update its catering industry and train more senior chefs by the end of this year to cater to Beijing 2008 summer Olympics, according to the city's commerce bureau Wednesday.

"As the Tokyo Olympic Games brought the popularity of the Japanese sushi and the Seoul Olympics made the Korean kimchi catchon, we should also take the chance of hosting the Olympics to make Beijing a 'capital of delicacies,'" Li Zhao, head of Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau, has said.

The bureau will give priority to cultivating Beijing cuisine and upgrading the restaurants. By the end of 2006, 700 restaurants are expected to reach the nation's second level or above.

In addition, 300 senior cooks will be further trained and live up to "master chefs." Another 50 specialty restaurants and 50 Muslim's restaurants will also open doors this year.

"In 2008, Beijing will host the 29th Summer Olympic Games and also sponsor the 2008 International Cooking Competition, so it should gear up for the big drive," said Li Shijing, head with Beijing Food Association and a member of Beijing Olympic committee for food safety.

An estimated 7 million spectators and 270,000 participants, including athletes, officials, attendants and journalists, will convene in Beijing during the event, according to sources with the city's commerce bureau.

"Catering to such a huge event poses a challenge for us as well as an enormous business opportunity," said Li Zhao.

(Xinhua News Agency, January 11, 2006)

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