A scene from the 2014 Wayne Wang film Soul of a Banquet
- Date & Time
- December 5, 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
- Weiser Hall, 10th Floor
- Event Type
The screening of the next entry in the China Ongoing Perspectives (CHOP) film series, Soul of a Banquet, will be followed by a Q&A with Sean Chen, cultural historian of Chinese foodways.
In his 2014 documentary film Soul of a Banquet, Director Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) takes us into the world of Cecilia Chiang, the woman who introduced America to authentic Chinese food. Chiang opened her internationally renowned restaurant The Mandarin in 1961 in San Francisco and went on to change the course of cuisine in America. The film is equal parts a delectable showcase of gastronomy and a touching portrait of Chiang’s journey from a childhood in Beijing before the Cultural Revolution to a career as an accidental restaurateur on the west coast of the United States. Soul of a Banquet features interviews with Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, and Cecilia Chiang herself.
Sean Jy-Shyang Chen is the translator and annotator of the seminal Qing Dynasty manual on cookery: Recipes from the Garden of Contentment (Suiyuan Shidan, 隨緣食單), which provides technical details on ingredients and culinary techniques crucial for understanding the 18th century work. Sean holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering from McGill University and is a senior research engineer for computer vision and machine learning in medicine.
CHOP is a curated series of documentary films that view greater China through the eyes of overseas Chinese, immigrants and travelers, focusing particularly on slices of life related to transitional/transcultural events and memories. The series is co-presented by the Asia Library and the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies.