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A Taste of China Episode 5: Sizzling Sichuan

March 9 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Travel with us live to Chengdu, the cosmopolitan capital of Sichuan province, a city known equally for its teahouses and leisurely lifestyle, its spicy hot pot, and its funky rap scene! We will talk onsite with a chef from the Sichuan Culinary Institute; a young Chengdu native who is bringing great Sichuan flavors to the U.S.; and Fuchsia Dunlop, a leading western expert on Sichuan cuisine—who is a graduate of the Culinary Institute herself!

Join us and learn about Chengdu’s “fly restaurants” and Sichuan classics such as mapo dofu, dandan noodles, and hot pot—and, of course, about the mouth-numbing Sichuan mala, or 麻辣,spice that makes them all sizzle!

A Taste of China, co-presented by China Institute and WildChina, pairs taste with place to explore China’s vast culinary landscape.

Speakers’ bios:

Jing Gao, the founder and CEO of Fly By Jing is a chef, entrepreneur and expert on Chinese cuisine on a mission to bring uncensored Chinese flavors to the table. She was born in Chengdu, but grew up in the West, and uses her experience as a trained chef to share meaningful flavors that open people up to new ideas and conversations. She was the founder of an award-winning modern-Chinese fast casual restaurant in Shanghai and her work has been featured in The New York Times, BBC, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Fast CompanyFortune, and more.

Fuchsia Dunlop, cook and food writer, is one of the world’s top experts in Chinese cuisine. Dunlop attended the Chengdu Culinary Institute in 1995, where she honed her cleaver skills. She has written five award-winning Chinese cookbooks and appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and numerous other TV shows.

Moderators’ bios:

Dorinda (Dinda) Elliott is SVP, Director of Programs, at the China Institute.  Before joining China Institute, Elliott worked as editorial and communications director at the Paulson Institute, which promotes U.S.-China relations and sustainable growth in both countries.  Elliott worked as a journalist for some 30 years, with a deep background in China. Elliott was Newsweek Bureau Chief in Beijing, Moscow, and Hong Kong, then Asia Editor. As Editor-in-Chief of Asiaweek from 2000-2001, she relaunched the magazine with a new focus on China and business. Elliott was later an Assistant Managing Editor at Time magazine, then Global Affairs Editor at Condé Nast Traveler, where she wrote about China, global issues, and corporate social responsibility.  Elliott graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in East Asian Studies. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and speaks rusty Russian and French. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband Adi Ignatius. They have three sons.

Zhang Mei is the founder and CEO of WildChina. Under her leadership, WildChina flourished from a small Hutong operation into an award-winning business. Mei’s own expertise has led her to win a number of personal awards, including Travel and Leisure’s A-List of Top Travel Advisors, Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialist, and Wendy Perrin’s #WOW List of Travel Experts. Mei is an Aspen Institute China Fellow and currently serves as a member of Harvard Business School’s Alumni Board.

See Zhang Mei in Pieces of China, episode 10, as she discusses the white magnolia and its cultural history!

WildChina is an award-winning travel company that specializes in high-end cultural and experiential journeys. Whether we’re in China’s sprawling megacities or villages where street names hardly exist, we go off the beaten path to get to the real stories. We push the boundaries of travel, crossing cultural borders to discover the China that lives amid the aromatic sizzle of street-side woks, in bustling city markets and far-flung mountain villages, and most of all, in the hearts of the people along the way. Our journeys are fully customizable and cover Mainland China, Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and neighboring countries in South East Asia. Learn more online.


This program is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.


March 9
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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