For a long time, railway trains have come under fire from foodies for their poor tasting and pricey food offerings. A train from Eastern China’s Taizhou city to Northeastern China’s Harbin has one enthusiastic chief who makes the journey sizzle for the taste buds. CCTV’s Nie Jia reported this story from Shanghai.
Five star chef prides his work on the train.
Its an art form of a fine serving.
The 35-year-old chef Jiang Wenliang’s daily routine includes cooking swiftly to rock-n-roll.
He’s no ordinary chef, Waltzing between several works, he delivers a performance and dishes that satisfy even the pickiest of customers.
Many may love his version of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, he considers the dish his house specialty.
What he is most famous for is his delicate knife work, slicing vegetables into the thinnest pieces.
In a local TV talent show, Wenliang won over judges and audience with his thinnest tomato slice that could be threaded through a needle’s eye.
The video went viral on the internet and Wenliang won the title “coolest train chef in history.”
This award did not come easy.
Ten years ago, Wenliang came across a job ads from the train station scouring top notch chefs for its star-level train. It was also during a time of China’s rapid railway expansion.
Wenliang gave it a shot and went from a five-star hotel to the train station. But his starting days with train service were disheartening.
“At first, I was not so used to slicing vegetables on a train that was constantly moving. So one day the train suddenly pulled to a stop and I accidentally sliced my fingers, and blood poured out immediately,” Wenliang said. “Some unfriendly coworkers saw me getting hurt and mocked me hissing ‘what a nice move!’ It was so disheartened and threw away the knife and went home after work. But my father encouraged me and said that a man had to be responsible for his work.”
Wenliang went back to work and continuously perfected his slicing techniques in a moving environment. Over time he became a star chef, but he is not content with the status quo.
“There was a time when my friend said to me that I only excel marking northeastern Chinese cuisine. But nowadays southern China cuisines are more popular,” Wenliang said.
Taking a cue from his friend, Wenliang decided to learn from his fellow workers to improve his culinary skills and catering to a wider variety of tastes.
Once it was not just the cooking on the stove that got him all heated up. He rejected the idea of railway management raising food prices on the train.
“Most of the passengers are migrant workers from Jiangsu province who work in northeastern provinces. They earn a meager income and can’t afford the higher prices,” Wenliang said.
Wenliang said he enjoys the fulfillment of a job which puts food on the table but also provides fanfare to his customers.
A service many lonely travelers appreciate, as a warm delicious meal accompanies their way home.