2017 Chengdu by the Bay

2017 Chengdu by the Bay

San Francisco Readies for 2017 Food & Culture Festival for Friendship City

On November 1, hundreds of Bay Area VIPs will be filing into to the city’s historical rotunda for an evening of wine, dine and songs, all with a Chengdu theme. The gala will serve as the official kick-off of the 2017 Chengdu Food & Culture Festival.

“Food is a wonderful way to strengthen the cultural and economic ties between San Francisco and Chengdu,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee, who with his wife Anita will be co-hosting the soiree along with his Chengdu counterpart. “Anita and I continue to be inspired by the history, food, and culture of Chengdu.”

This year’s gala will be a festive evening of great food, special brew and cultural entertainment featuring authentic Chengdu cuisine, dancers, opera performers and other visiting artists. While last year’s event was an elegant sit-down banquet, the 2017 gathering will be a more informal, relaxed affair, featuring cocktails and a full tasting menu served from multiple food stations, all staffed by Chengdu top chefs, assisted by some of the Bay Area’s renowned chefs.

The evening’s menu will feature many all-time Chengdu classics, as well as cutting-edge creations. Chef Martin Yan of the Yan Can Cook fame and a Bay Area culinary icon, is overseeing the entire culinary operation. “It’s a special honor to work with such great culinary talents. I am learning so much from my Chengdu and Bay Area colleagues and I am very grateful for such a privilege.”

The Friendship City connection between San Francisco and Chengdu began when Mrs. Anita Lee led a San Francisco delegation to visit several Chinese cities in 2015. In Chengdu she met with city leaders who expressed great enthusiasm in cultivating closer ties between San Francisco and Chengdu. In October 2015, the two cities officially declared the Friendship Cities status. A year later, the Chengdu Food & Culture Festival of San Francisco made its debut.

The 2017 Festival will run for two weeks. After the opening night gala, there will be ‘Chengdu Days’ all around the Bay Area. UC Berkeley is on this year’s list of venues. On November 2 the festival will visit the International House at UC Berkeley, and the students and UC officials will be treated to an evening of Chengdu cuisine and entertainment. Following UC Berkeley will be a long list of leading Bay Area high technology companies such as NVidia, Visa, Oracle, HP, Cisco, Twitter, Pinterest, Ericsson, and Microsoft. On their ‘Chengdu Day’ Chef Yan will visit their staff dining facilities on campus with his entourage of Chengdu chefs and entertainers.

In addition to the technology sector, there will be three Chengdu-themed dinners open to the general public. This year’s list of restaurants will be M.Y. China in San Francisco, Koi Palace in Milpitas, and Chef Chu’s in Los Altos. Each restaurant will feature a different Chengdu-inspired menu for their evening.

As an outreach to the future generations of San Francisco the City of Chengdu is sending 300-foot-high panda statues to the San Francisco Unified School District. The statues will be painted by a selected group of elementary school students and will be judged by a panel of school administrators and art teachers. The winning statues will be exhibited at the City Hall gala event and the finalists will be sent to Chengdu where the city has commissioned a team of local artists to apply these winning designs onto life-size panda statues. Once complete these statues will be sent on an international tour, along with other statues depicting winning designs from other parts of the world. Ultimately the San Francisco statues will return home to the Bay Area to become a permanent exhibit and public display.

View Biography of Culinary Visiting Delegation Members

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