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.

2 comments:

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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