From Italy to China: A culinary friendship

By Angela Pruszenski
0 CommentsPrint E-mail CRI, April 19, 2011
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Executive Chef Alberto Fol from The Westin Europa & Regina is visiting The Westin Beijing Financial Street for a special culinary exchange. []

Local chefs helped serve the Venetian cuisine served at Thursday's event at The Westin Beijing Financial Street. []

Beijing has become a popular spot for foreign chefs to visit and to also feature their creations at many of the city's high-end restaurants. Many foreign chefs have even set up their own restaurants here, hoping to use Beijing's exploding culinary scene to build a reputation. On Thursday night at the Westin Financial Street, however, the emphasis was on culinary exchange and new experiences.

Executive Chef Alberto Fol from La Cusina restaurant at The Westin Europa & Regina celebrated his special week-long Venetian menu with an evening tasting event. "Beijing is like a city of challenges to improve the experience of Italian food," he said.

Venetian cuisine may be a foreign taste to most locals, but Alberto Fol is optimistic about its success, mostly due to the similarities in ingredients between the two cultures and the breadth of the Chinese diet. "The palates of Italian people and Chinese people are almost the same, because we're used to eating pork, beef, veal, fish, duck, just like Chinese people," he said. "For us, it's great because we don't have limits in our preparation."

Venetian cuisine has strong ties to the sea and traditionally employs simple preparation techniques. Alberto Fol feels a strong commitment to traditional Venetian food, but he is also strongly influenced by his hometown. Some of his new techniques incorporate French and Japanese influences, including barely-cooked fish and tempura.

Alberto Fol's ideas about simple, fresh cuisine were evident in the evening's main dishes, which included Mediterranean Sea Bass and a juicy Mustard Grain Beef Tenderloin, alongside pasta and risottos in light, delicate sauces with vegetables.

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