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Suiyuan Cuisine

Suiyuan Cuisine, the Confucian Cuisine and the Tan Cuisine have been reputed as the three imperial offical foods in feudal China. The Suiyuan Cuisine uses local delicacies in Nanjing as the principal dishes, incorporating the local official cooking excellence of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui.

Yuan Mei (1716 - 1798), a sucessful candidate in the highest imperial examinations of Qing Emperor Qianlong, Jiangning County magistrate, and poet of the Qing dynasty, resigned and live in Jiangning, near Nanjing, and built a garden at Xiaochuang Hill, named Suiyuan Garden, hired a very skilful chef named Wang Xiaoyu and cooked for the Yuan family. Due to various reasons, for more than one hundred years, the type of cooking was lost completely and fortunately, for more than 20 years' hard work, Mr Xue Wenlong, especially in 1980s, when he was in charge of the Chinese Kitchen in Jinling Hotel (a five-star hotel) in Nanjing and worked together with famous gourmet Mr Li Enhua and finally reproduced and perfected the Suiyuan dishes. Because of Yuan Mei's talent, social status, position and influence, the Suiyuan Cuisine exerted the most influential and the most salient offical style of food in South China.

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