French writer finds culinary inspiration in Chongming Island


[Video/WeChat account: shchongming]

Xiaosong is the Chinese name of a French writer who has lived in China for 18 years. He recently visited Chongming Island in Shanghai to explore its local cuisine and ingredients.

Growing up in the French Alps and working as a journalist and photographer in Asia for over two decades, Xiaosong has a deep appreciation for food and its ability to connect cultures.

In just one day on Chongming Island, Xiaosong and his daughter Lunar were able to gather a bounty of fresh, seasonal ingredients, including bamboo shoots, green broad beans, zucchini, sweet peppers, cauliflowers and poultry.


Xiaosong and a local villager in Chongming dig for bamboo shoots together. [Photo/WeChat account: shchongming]

"This place is truly a treasure trove," exclaimed Xiaosong, who also had the opportunity to taste authentic Chongming dishes at a local farmer's home.

Xiaosong runs a private kitchen called Casabai in Panqu village, Dali, Southwest China's Yunnan province, where he serves only two private tables per week.

"I'm not a chef, I'm a writer. I'm using food to tell stories," he explains.

His cooking style is highly creative, blending French, Spanish and Italian influences with the local ingredients he encounters.

For Xiaosong, food is a powerful cross-cultural bond that can harmoniously connect different people and stories. His dishes are not bound by rigid menus but rather reflect the seasons, local flavors and his own experiences and memories.

By breaking conventions and combining creativity with nature, Xiaosong aims to create a unique dining experience that celebrates the essence of each place he visits.


Source: "shchongming" WeChat account