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Interview: Head chef at Great Hall reveals his passion for herbs

By Jiang Wanjuan | | Updated: 2016-08-22 09:18

Interview: Head chef at Great Hall reveals his passion for herbs

Xu Long's personal studio is full of herbs from all over the world. [Photo provided to]

Was it actually easy?

Not at all. Yunnan has many herbs, but there was no systematic study done about them. Some herbs have different names by different minorities or regions, and I need to match them with the scientific names.

What did you write about each herb in the book?

The book includes each herb's scientific name, common name, historical record, usage, food pairing technique, nutrition and medical value.

Who are the potential readers?

It's a chef-to-chef book. I always believe that only when a chef understands the herbs well, can they match them with the right food and create good recipes.

What are the top five herbs in Yunnan?

Xiangliao (knotweed), citronella, basil, choucai (Acacia pennata) and shuixiangcai (Elsholtzia kachinensis Prain).

Is there anything else you would like to write about Yunnan in the future?

Yunnan's spice, mushroom, flower, insects and wild vegetable.

Do you have plans to publish the book in English?

Yes. As I mentioned earlier, I want to write about herbs all over the world, and this book is just the beginning.

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