Chinese gastronomy: all roads start from Qingtian

Whoever opens a Chinese restaurant in Europe very often comes from the city of Qingtian. Like Weili Wu, the chef of the best Chinese restaurant in Berlin. A journalist from “Zeit Magazin” accompanied her in February 2024 when she returned to her hometown for the Chinese New Year.

The year of the dragon has just begun, ending the year of the hare, when we find Weili Wu in a restaurant in Qingtian. Smoked duck tongues, lacquered pork shanks, fried jellyfish spread out before her on the turntable in the center of the table. A week has passed since the Chinese New Year celebrations on February 10 (2024), but firecrackers continue to explode behind the restaurant’s windows, and lanterns still light up the night with a red glow. For the occasion, Weili Wu, 48, owner of Da Jia Le, Berlin’s most successful Chinese restaurant, returned to her hometown, which she left at the age of 17.

That evening, she is sitting at a table with her sister Yangli, who for years managed the China-Garten in Wildau, very close to Berlin. They were joined by their sister-in-law Yongli, who came from Cleve (on the border between Germany and the Netherlands), where she works in another restaurant, the China-Palast, and her sister, Yongmei, which manages the Kaiser von China in the suburbs of Graz (in Austria).

Ambassadors of Chinese cuisine

Qingtian, located in southeastern China, has a population of around 250,000. A more than respectable figure on a German scale, but derisory for a Chinese municipality. According to Beijing’s administrative criteria, Qingtian is not a city strictly speaking, but rather the center of an administrative district. However, the

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Article source

Die Zeit (Hamburg)

It is the reference German publication, an authority across the Rhine. This (very) large newspaper of information and political analysis, sharp and demanding, is also distinguished by its highly sought-after layout and iconography. Tolerant and liberal, it appears every Thursday. Created in 1946 by the British occupation force, based in Hamburg, it belongs to the Holtzbrinck group.

Based in Berlin, the Zeit Online site has its own editorial staff.

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