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Interview - Chengdu

Describe very shortly what are the lessons drawn from your city since it has been designated City of Gastronomy?
We learned a lot from the cooperation of gastronomy member cities, including publication, promotion, and exhibition staging.
What is the value of the CCN membership (especially in your specific domain) to your city? How does it contribute to the social and economic aspects of the city? What has your city gained from the Network since the joining, or how has been the Network beneficial to your city?
The most valuable thing is to make Chengdu cuisine more famous in China, even in the world. People in Chengdu are very proud of local cuisine. Also, people from other cities have strong interests in Sichuan cuisine’s culture and its distinctive fascination.
Are there cities of the network whose experience has been particularly interesting for your city?
We have a lot of communication with gastronomy member cities, Östersund, Jeonju, Popayán, sharing the experience of gastronomy promotion and holding food festivals.
What has your city brought to the network, as a member of UNESCO Creative Cities Network? Are there cities that you have supported in some domain, in particular?
Actually we have been providing the main experience of development of Chengdu gastronomy with other gastronomy cities. We are also eagerly prepared to attend the meeting of CCN groups. We have helped Niigata in their application to become a city of gastronomy, organized chefs to attend the Jeonju food festival, and we have helped to exchange food culture and economic cooperation with Östersund.
In light of your concrete experience, why do you think networking for culture is important for the cities today?
As culture is the basic factor for communication and cooperation, so that’s why networking for culture is beneficial for the cities from different countries.
What are the challenges and difficulties, both financial and organizational, the city had to go through to ensure its work as member of the Network?
We think organizational challenges are bigger than financial ones, since we have to try to find more methods to make more effective communication.
What are the links between the local dimension of you commitment and your national government?
In China, Chinese National Commission for UNESCO is the organization at the national level, which gives our local dimension directions on communication with UNESCO.
Can you mention some particularly significant activities that have been implemented after the designation?
We have compiled the promotion project of Chengdu gastronomy, which may push forward Chengdu gastronomy to a better position in China. We also organize international food and travel festivals to raise the reputation of Chengdu gastronomy and produce more chances for local enterprises.
What are the future projects of your city in order to consolidate its position within the CCN?
We are preparing to strengthen the communication with other network cities, to push local gastronomy overseas and to set up chain restaurants.
Jiao Hui
Deputy Division Chief of Catering Industry
Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Commerce