BEIJING – Spain’s Royal Academy of Gastronomy and its recently founded Chinese counterpart have signed an accord to promote culinary tourism in both countries, and have agreed that the former country, the leader in the sector, will lend its learning to ennoble the millennial Chinese tradition.
“Spain today has vast influence in the world of gastronomy, and we’re going to aid the Chinese with all our ‘know-how,’” Rafael Anson, president of the Royal Academy of Gastronomy, said Tuesday in the Chinese capital.
China has a thousand-year-old gastronomic tradition in two types of cuisine – one that is popular and regional, very simple and principally based on rice and vegetables, and the imperial, which cannot be reproduced today owing to its use of very diverse, exotic and complex ingredients.
The ubiquitous Chinese restaurants abroad offer, in Anson’s words, something like “Tex-Mex” dishes, food that is low in both cost and quality, so that one of the goals of the agreement is to promote creativity, quality ingredients and the development of an avant-garde such as the movement led in Spain these days by chef Ferran Adria.
Through the accord signed Monday, Spain, which has nudged France aside as the world’s culinary mecca, will promote its best products in China with olive oil in the lead.
“We’re not looking for anyone to copy Spanish cuisine, but rather for each country to develop its own creativity, and if it has fine artists in the kitchen, we want to see them become media stars like the Spaniards,” Anson said.
The Royal Academy of Gastronomy is a non-profit private organization made up of 52 celebrities, business owners, politicians and intellectuals.
Apart from the agreement, this Monday saw the founding of the Chinese Academy of Gastronomy, which immediately applied for membership in the International Academy, a coordinating body for the 28 such academies that exist around the world.
“Chinese cuisine is millennial, but Spanish cuisine is delectable,” Chinese International Academy of Gastronomy secretary-general Victor Jiang Tian said. EFE