Family celebrated Chongyang Festival by making dapencai
The Chongyang Festival which is held on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month is celebrated by climbing mountains and paying tribute to the elderly. But for the Huang family it was a day for extra celebration.
The Huang family threw a big dinner party serving a traditional dish called Dapencai or big basin dish. Its a traditional Cantonese dish contains around 15 courses prepared in woks placed in one big basin. The Huangs served the dish to guests and relatives sitting in 470 tables with some of their relatives coming from Hong Kong and Macao. The party started around noon after a round of firecrackers.
Preparations for the big basin dish is just as challenging, head chef Huang Jeimei had a team of 60 people helping her in the preparations, including three head chefs, one manager and six assistant chefs. There were people in charge of the chopping and washing of the ingredients, others were doing simpler tasks of packaging and delivering food. Presentation of the big basin dish was done only two hours before the dinner started, this is considered the difficult part since it consists of cooking every ingredient separately and carefully stacked in the big basin. Duck and chicken is usually the last thing placed on top of the dish which represents birds returning to their nests.
Courses for the big basin dishes have not change over the years, the ingredients only improved since they can get quality ingredients in neighboring cities.