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An appetizing approach to food

Updated: 2024-04-22 08:44 ( China Daily Global )
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This sweet pepper dish is served with a sauce. CHINA DAILY

She chooses local, seasonal and organic ingredients to reduce transportation and packaging. She also employs energy-efficient cooking methods and aims to minimize emissions. The menu is thoughtfully designed to use ingredients completely and avoid waste, even repurposing fruit peels into appetizers.

The eatery has become a popular destination for tourists visiting Beijing and a favorite spot for residents celebrating special occasions. Zhao has noticed that it's not just about being a vegetarian restaurant for young guests; many come to celebrate events with friends, such as after finishing exams. "We see a lot of young people, and for them, coming here is about trying out a new restaurant," she says.

Having received multiple honors in a row, Zhao feels thankful. "While we value these accolades, our guests remain our top priority. However, these honors have boosted our confidence and improved the team's morale," she says.

Zhao mentions that the restaurant might introduce afternoon tea, especially Chinese tea, to more guests.

She says that Dai, who has over 30 years experience, including more than a decade specializing in vegetarian cuisine, is passionate about crafting new dishes, and is a chef with the creativity and skill to realize her vision.

Dai says: "Before, when I cooked Cantonese cuisine, it was about mastering handed-down techniques. But with vegetarian dishes, it's about starting from scratch. It's incredibly rewarding to create something from nothing."

Dai believes that creating vegetarian dishes is much more challenging than meat-based ones, as they require not only understanding techniques for cooking meat, but also ways to innovate upon them. He explains that some ingredients, like the vegetables used as garnishes, are often overlooked in meat-based cuisine. But now, he not only needs to understand their characteristics but also fully comprehend their nuances.

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