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App puts Chinese chefs abroad on right track

By Wang Kaihao | China Daily | Updated: 2016-03-18 10:12

App puts Chinese chefs abroad on right track

Mapo doufu, a signature dish of Sichuan cuisine. A new Chinese-language app claims it has the world's largest Chinese cuisine recipe database.[Photo provided to China Daily]

When Chinese tourists visit a Chinese restaurant abroad, they are often astonished to find that the food "from their homeland" does not taste like home food at all.

Chinese restaurants overseas have long lacked genuine flavor and both the money and time to send their chefs for training in China, but a new online platform offers a chance to turn things around.

Easteat, a major cuisine magazine in China, launched its mobile device app last week to promote international influence of Chinese cuisine, or as magazine head Liu Guangwei says, "to share culinary artists' experiences around the globe".

"Our magazines are now also released in other countries, but the channel is not efficient enough to interact with chefs of Chinese restaurants," Liu says.

According to Liu, there are now more than 300,000 Chinese restaurants in over 150 countries or regions outside of China. The first Cantonese eatery appeared in the 1850s' United States.

"However, many founders of these restaurants originally started their business to make ends meet. They usually came from other industries and were not well-nurtured chefs."

Liu also frets that those chefs do not follow a master-apprentice system like in China, which limits the passing down of traditional techniques, and Chinese culinary schools abroad are few and far between.

The new Chinese-language app combines WeChat and several websites, and its developer, Hou Wenyong, claims it has the world's largest Chinese cuisine recipe database and Chinese restaurant management models. An interactive forum allows chefs to hone their skills through discussions.

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