Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World

After skipping out on my run yesterday because of the wet weather, I broke my fast and then met S&W in line to rush for the screening of Weijun Chen's The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World at TIFF. This documentary is about the Guiness-certified West Lake Restaurant in Changsha, Hunan, China - it seats five thousand and employs about 1000 people, including 300 chefs.

The excess struck me - I can't remember who it was in the film that said it - but the comment was about how in the 60s, 70s and 80s, there was no food - my Grandfather left China for South America to work so that he could send money back to feed his family - and now there's plenty and the Chinese love to show it.

Qin Linzi, the restaurant owner, also reminded me a bit of my mother for her strength and perserverance. She rose above a difficult childhood and divorce and worked to ensure that she could care for her family - my mother, newly-widowed, took over the running of the business she and my father started, led a team of almost 20 workers and rose me and my sisters on her own. I'd love to watch this with her to see what she thinks.


Mo said...

Is this restaurant for real? I can't get my head around that many people eating and cooking and serving and whatever.

phoenix said...

Ya, it is. And I would love to check it out! Unfortunately, my trip next month does not include a stop in Hunan province...maybe next time!

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