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The First stop | Enjoy the Chinese New Year at Yale

At Yale, you can enjoy healthy and delicious meals for the Chinese New Year that will not make you fat!

 

During the 2019 Year of the Pig Spring Festival, the Good Food Fund and its seven chefs co-created the Spring Festival dinner with five top universities in the United States, including Yale, Harvard, and the Culinary Institute of America. This  "Leads the Future" New Year's menu promoted the international communication of sustainable diets. This is the first time that Chinese chefs toured the world's top schools.

 

This New Year's Feast world tour has drawn to a close. Next, the Good Food Fund will continue reporting the "World New Year Feast" as a series, sharing the interaction between eastern and western culinary cultures and beginning a dialogue on an exciting tour of renowned universities.

 

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At noon on February 2nd EST, journalists, entrepreneurs, and seven chefs of the Good Food Fund arrived in New York from Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, and Fuzhou. The Good Food Fund delegation from China had officially assembled. Mia MacDonald, a long-term strategic partner of the Good Food Fund and founder of Brighter Green, public welfare and environmental protection agency in New York, hosted a party in her New York home to welcome the arrival of the Good Food Fund delegation.

 

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Caption: Mia MacDonald, the founder of Brighter Green, welcomes the arrival of the Good Food Fund Delegation.

 

On the afternoon of February 3 EST, a relaxing cruise arranged by Yale’s friends brought the Good Food Fund Delegation to admire New York’s scenery along the Hudson River. In contrast to the New York blanketed in snow just a few days ago, today the sun is shining, and the temperature is warming up. It's a good day to be out.  


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Caption: Good Food Fund Delegation with New York

 

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Legend: Master Li Qun takes the lead in dancing before the boat returns to Manhattan Beach Pier. Subsequently, Mei Ann Teo, a Singapore theater artist living in New York, immediately joins the dance.


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The delegation enjoyed the food on the cruise ship, admired the scenery along the way, took a photo with New York under the sun, and spent a relaxing and pleasant day.

 

The First Stop: Yale


The New Year’s Feast was at Yale University. Yale University is the world's top university, located in New Haven, Connecticut, and is the third university established in American history and eight Ivy League schools. In addition to being one of the top Ivy League schools, Yale welcomed the first batch of Chinese children studying in the United States, including Rong Hong. Its relationship with China is more profound than any of the other world-famous schools. Yale’s food service has a history of more than 300 years. Yale has been a supporter of the catering revolution throughout history. As early as the late 1990s, a group of Yale students began to advocate for organic food in schools. For over a century, generations of diverse Yale graduates have devoted themselves to the construction of China. For example, the Yale-China Association has made outstanding contributions to China's medical and educational undertakings for more than 100 years, and thus, has received the respect of the Chinese people. Today, Yale may become one of the first contributors in the field of food reform in China. At present, the purely plant-based diet provided by most of Yale's canteens has reached 85%. And this is also the standard of purely plant-based food ratio for the New Year Feast menu designed this year.  

 

Multinational Clash in the Kitchen

 

At 2:30 p.m. EST, the Good Food Fund Delegation set off from New York to the Yale campus. This was the only table meal on tour and Good Food chefs’ first appearance in the United States. And it was also on the New Year's Eve of Chinese New Year. The Yale New Year Feast must be very grand. To present a perfect feast, chefs decided to arrive in New Haven one day in advance. They wanted to feel Yale's intense academic and traditional atmosphere and bring Yale students a "Chinese style" New Year's Eve dinner.

 

The Yale Hospitality partners told us that the Yale chefs had done all the preparatory work in strict accordance with the Good Food New Year menu instructions and graphics. According to their years of experience working with chefs around the world, they were full of confidence. The next day, after enjoying Yale's breakfast, the chefs entered the "ready state." The Chinese and American chefs cooperated and learned with each other, offering a New Year's Eve dinner with sincerity and hospitality.


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Note:Good Food chefs and Yale Hospitality chefs worked together to complete the New Year’s Eve dinner preparations. Under the guidance of pastry chef Li Qun, chefs have tried to make Chinese hand-pulled noodles.

 

Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner in Foreign Countries


In the evening, the Yale New Year Feast officially announced the launch of the "Global Leading Food Conference and 2019 World New Year Feast" tour. During the feast, Jian Yi, Founder of the Good Food Fund, and Mr. Rafi Taherian, Assistant Vice-President of Yale Hospitality, and Mr. Adam Millman, Deputy Director of Yale Hospitality, shared their insights on food leadership and catering innovation.

 

Mr. Rafi Taherian shared that market research showed that the younger generation with significant purchasing power demands healthier and more environmentally friendly food at their school.  And universities were often the largest food buyers in a given region (for example, UCONN is the largest food buyer in the whole state of Connecticut). Therefore, the catering supply of universities had a greater impact on local agriculture. Second, he believed that university catering services are arranged vertically, whereas most businesses are arranged horizontally. For example, school canteens can cooperate with teachers, students, and researchers. In contrast, horizontal competition with other schools does not exist (as ordinary restaurants need to please their customers while students are a captured audience). The potential benefit here is for the university's catering services to cultivate future consumers’ consumption habits. Simultaneously, compared to other catering systems, the university's catering services strive to innovate and allow "mistakes." Ordinary restaurants often dare not innovate because they are worried about customers’ loss, but the school does not bear this risk. Therefore, the cost of innovation for university catering services is relatively low, so many catering innovations in the United States often launch on college campuses.

 

Mr. Rafi Taherian visited the eight cities in China (a total of twelve events) with the Good Food Fund from March 23 to April 4, 2018, and shared with friends from all over "Yale Green Dining" in-depth perspectives on food and rich experiences.


15.jpgNote: The feast was held in a lively and warm atmosphere, with more than 300 people in the auditorium.

 


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Legend: Each seat was prepared with the menu of that night and the introduction of 7 chefs.


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19.jpgLegend: The " Global Leading Food Conference and 2019 World New Year Feast" tour officially opened.


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Legend: At the dinner, Yale's partners specially arranged the traditional Chinese festival’s lion dance performance. The blue and white "Yale lion dance" was a highlight of the dinner.


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Legend: The Good Food Chef appeared at Yale New Year Feast.

Legend: Yale Logistics encouraged teachers and students to attend the dinner to share the feast and win prizes on social media.

 

Yale News reported on this event: https://news.yale.edu/2019/02/01/yale-hosts-top-chinese-chefs-sustainability-focused-culinary-exchange The chefs had a lot of feelings. Chef Zhang Shaogang shared that "there were some dishes at the dinner that made Chinese students abroad shed tears of excitement." It is undoubtedly the most significant affirmation of the debut of this new year feast. However, the journey of "The Good Food Fund Delegation" has just begun. The next day, the chefs would go to the second Good Food New Year Feast at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst). So stay tuned for future updates.


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2019.2.4 

Jian Yi 

Some pictures come from Yale Center Beijing