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Spring sensations

By Mike Peters | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-25 07:34

Spring sensations

Traditional Beijing Zhajiang noodles with soybean-meat paste. [Photo provided to China Daily]

No time of year inspires chefs to create seasonal menus like spring does. That first warmth, the shaking off of winter doldrums, the vision of tiny green shoots emerging from the soil all lead to produce markets bursting with some of the tastiest morsels of the year.

Nobody knows that better than Dong Zhenxiang, the Beijing-born impresario behind the Da Dong roast duck restaurants. He's been quite busy lately, scooping up Michelin stars for two Shanghai restaurants and preparing to open his first US outlet in New York in June. But he is clearly never too busy to enjoy this season of rebirth, when he gives his "artistic conception of Chinese cuisine" free rein.

An imposing presence at 193 centimeters tall, hence the nickname da ("big"), the celebrity chef likes to do things in a big way. His new menu was introduced to media and VIP clients not at one tasting party but about a dozen, each at a different location in his chain. A multimedia show with glamorous hosts and thunderous music, about a dozen courses and a nice selection of wines and cognac made each party a night to remember, with the chef bouncing out of his chair to work the room all night.

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