Dim sum, boiled shrimp, roast goose, bite-sized wontons, and steamed spareribs with pickled plums are all staples of Cantonese cuisine, or Guangdong cuisine, which has long dazzled world food lovers with its delicious freshness.
Steaming, stir-frying, boiling, charcoal grilling, and braising, Cantonese cuisine, one of the four major Chinese cuisines, has been using a variety of seemingly simple methods to keep the natural flavors of the ingredients for hundreds of years.
The culinary style is now glowing with new vitality as south China's Guangdong Province is making efforts to promote Cantonese cuisine training as a way to boost employment and fight poverty.
THE ROAD TO FORTUNE
Lei Kalin, 46, had been working outside his hometown for nearly 20 years. But he decided to return to his hometown of Wangtong Village in the city of Xinyi when he heard about the Cantonese cuisine chef training class last year.
He soon mastered the skills of cooking more than 100 Cantonese dishes and 10 local specialties after a one-month course.
With the confidence gained from his newfound cooking skills and some of his savings, he bought a share in a local restaurant.
The Cantonese dishes made by Lei soon attracted customers to the restaurant, bringing in an annual profit of more than 700,000 yuan (about 101,300 U.S. dollars).
This year, Lei has sent the apprentice chefs at the restaurant to take the training course too.
Local farmers and laid-off workers are actively participating in the training, said Li Ge, head of the city's human resources and social security bureau.
"Those who are registered as living below the poverty line also receive subsidies for food, housing and transportation," Li said. "After the training, qualified students will receive certificates with which they will be able to find jobs with a salary of 4,000 to 5,000 yuan per month, 1,000 to 2,000 yuan higher than what they earned in the past."
So far, 147 vocational schools have opened Cantonese cuisine courses in the province, with 56,000 current students. The course has been taken around 15,000 times over the past year.
With start-up subsidies and loans, some have also opened restaurants and started businesses of their own and found a way towards fortune.