Seven Banquets

China’s food history from Neolithic to Now

Expected for Spring 2024, Seven Banquets (well, that’s what I’m calling it for now) examines 5,000 years of China’s food history through seven iconic meals. There’s the ancient Eight Treasures fete, the ‘Tail-Burning’ banquet of the Tang dynasty, the ‘complete Manchu-Han feast’, as well as extravagant meals from literature and film, a New Year’s buffet in 1920s Shanghai, and a delivery menu from the hyperglobal 21st century. We even take a peek into the not-so-distant future. Seven Banquets lays out the social and political context, but always keeps its eye on the food, including dozens of historical recipes. From fermented elk to Absynthe cocktails, Seven Banquets is Chinese food like you’ve never seen it before.

To research Seven Banquets, I collected dozens of classical food books, from the sixth century to the 1980s. That’s thousands of recipes, way more than the 75 that I could fit into the book.

That’s why I started this blog. To try out some of the rest and to go into more detail with pictures and ideas about how to adapt clasical traditions to a modern kitchen.

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