(Taiwan Today, Aug 23) A spectacular menu of Chinese cuisine for next month’s Tang Prize Banquet inspired by the categories of the biennial award, hailed as Asia’s Nobel Prize, and the works of revered Tang dynasty (618-907) poets was unveiled Aug. 23 in Taipei City.
Comprising local and seasonal produce from Taiwan’s 17 cities and counties, the eight-course banquet reflects the Tang Prize’s four categories of sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, rule of law and Sinology, as well as the moon-themed stanzas of Li Bai’s “Quiet Night Thoughts” and Wang Zhihuan “Up on Stork Tower.”
The dishes, which will be served during the banquet at iconic The Grand Hotel in Taipei following the Tang Prize Award Ceremony Sept. 25 at National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, include local specialties like squid sausages from Keelung City in northern Taiwan, mushrooms from Taichung City in central Taiwan and mullet roe from Pingtung County in southern Taiwan. They will be presented in a way capitalizing on the colors of the raw ingredients to create visually stunning culinary masterpieces.
Chern Jenn-chuan, CEO of the Tang Prize Foundation, said the menu showcases Taiwan’s well-developed food culture, draws upon the concept of environmentally aware eating and aims to keep the carbon footprint of the ingredients to a minimum.
In addition to the sumptuous fare, banquet guests will enjoy a feast of visual and musical entertainment courtesy of U-Theater. The Taipei-based troupe is world renowned for its eye-catching performances combining traditional Chinese martial arts, drumming, tai chi movements and ritual dance.
The winners of the second edition of the Tang Prize were announced in June, with each category allocated a cash prize of US$1.24 million and research grant of US$311,000.
American physicist Arthur H. Rosenfeld won for sustainable development, joining French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, American geneticist Jennifer A. Doudna and Chinese-American biologist Feng Zhang for biopharmaceutical science, Canadian jurist Louise Arbour for rule of law and American academic William Theodore de Bary of Columbia University for Sinology.
According to the foundation, all the recipients except Rosenfeld and de Bary will take part in Tang Prize Week, which features a series of topical forums and lectures staged Sept. 22-28 around Taiwan.
The Tang Prize was established by Taiwan entrepreneur Samuel Yin in December 2012. It takes its name from the Tang dynasty, a period considered the peak of ancient Chinese civilization characterized by international exchanges and robust cultural activities.