The Art of Regional Chinese Cuisine in Toronto

24 May 2018 | City Hall Library, Toronto Public Library, 100 Queen Street, Toronto

Event Poster

Professor Chef Leo Chan will talk about the history of Chinese restaurants in Toronto in the past 100+ years covering the changes. The audience will be transported back in time to share food memories that are so intricately linked with successive waves of Chinese immigration. He will explore the ever-growing Chinese food community, and show how they are linked to the rapid changes of Toronto and where the next generation of food lovers fit into the puzzle. Opening the doors to diverse regional Chinese cuisines, Professor Chef Chan will take the audience to experience the deep passion of food traditions through engaging stories. The event is complete with food demonstration on how to make Chinese dumplings before the talk, with hands-on opportunities for the audience. He will be joined by Chef Frederick Oh from George Brown College, and former team captain and coach of the award winning Trillium Chefs Canada. Chef Oh is originally from Singapore. He will be doing food and vegetable carving.

Among the great cuisines of the world, such as Indian, French and Italian, the regional cooking of China is one of the most interesting. In a country with diverse weather and natural resources, cooking has been shaped by a vast land that varies widely from region to region in terrain, people and history. Many parts of China are isolated from the rest of the country. The various styles of cooking are as different as the dialects.

What is regional cooking of China? The best way to grasp the classification of China’s cuisine is to consider the land as divided into four major culinary regions:

  • North – Shandong, Hebei, Manchuria and Mongolia
  • South – Guangdong, Fujian, Chaozhou and Hakka
  • East – Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Taiwan
  • West – Sichuan, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan

Professor Chef Leo Chan will talk about the art and culture of regional Chinese cuisine. It is a celebration reflecting the diversity, unique cooking methods, ingredients, global culinary influences and the migration of people and food to the current Toronto restaurant scene. It is a journey in search of our lotus roots, our culinary roots sprouting from rich, ancient traditions to the modern Chinese cuisine of a new generation.

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