Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Driving (and eating) with Mr Zhao
The most important part of the assignment to photograph Beijing during my recent trip was the ability to manoeuvre around the gridlocked metropolis thus managing to get from one location to another to shoot.
Mr Zhao was not only a ‘foodie’ but also keen to be seen as a ‘food ambassador’ and as such each day’s menu was selected to show off the widest selection of comestibles. I Iearned that mutton was the prized meat to eat, due to its scarcity, while chicken and pork - stables of British-based Chinese takeaways - were less popular as these were considered ubiquitous and easy to source domestically. There were rich fish dishes, sumptuous selections of fresh vegetables and even an hour spent in front of a boiling vat of water eating what was termed a ‘Chinese fondue’. While my lack of bravery in tackling certain foods (a plate of organs defeated me), Mr Zhao nodded in approval at my dextrous use of chopsticks, a skill I honed as a boy.