I finally finished reading the book about how to judge service girls late last night. I’m still none the wiser.
My phone went at 7am with “Hello James, come to Mr Mouse Room”. I had no idea where this was nor who Mr Mouse was. So I was collected and as soon as I walked in I saw a Chinese man with curlers in his hair. He was taking them out and covering his bouffant in hair spray. Markus you would have been in heaven!
Mr Mouse is the English name (!) of one of the hosts of China Food TV. He speaks no English but wanted to have some green tea with me. Luckily breakfast was OK today. No chicken stomachs with the esophagus hanging out. I had a corn muffin. Anything for regularity in this place. In case any of you are wondering, this is all true. Even I can’t make this stuff up!
Today I am the Judge’s Supervisor. After the opening yesterday, today is the professional event for the Yi Yin Cup. Yi Yin was the cook of kings and the king of cooks in the Shang Dynasty BC1648. The Yi Yin Cup is the highest honour a Chinese Chef can achieve. There are 2 cooking styles in the world: French and Chinese. The skill the Chinese have and the way they cook cannot be replicated by Westerners. It’s just impossible. Hilariously enough my morning was spend supervising a mixture of Chinese and foreigners, including Le Cordon Bleu USA. About 10 years ago I worked for Le Cordon Bleu in London. Each team is in an “operating room”. Health and safety in China is not like home and pipes and bare wires run through these operating rooms. I was to ensure that certain rules were not broken. Plastic masks have to be worn for hygiene and yet they can still smoke and cook?
Crossing the road! There is no logic. There are green lights but the Green Cross Code I learnt as a child is useless. Also, everyone here wants a photo with me. If I charged 1pence per photo then I would not have to work again. It is madness!
Now, from your emails I know you have all been waiting for this. The girls came on in teams, dressed liked you would not believe. Perfect makeup (according to the manual – i did check every lip liner) and they danced and showed off their plates of plastic food. Then they sang. If ever you need an atomic weapon its Chinese Serving Girls singing. I can’t sing in tune but this was high pitched and horrendous. Horrendous I tell you! It really is Miss World with plastic food!
I found a Tupperware Shop today and then bought crisps and they turned out to be sour fish flavour. I’m still hungry!
Check out my Facebook for video of the dancing girls.
I was standing at the back of the China National Convention Centre today, It’s just opposite the Birds Nest Stadium and was the press centre for the Olympics in 2008. I was with Cyril Rouquet (France’s Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Winner), Robert Oliver who is New Zealand’s food ambassador to China and Olaf who is the Editor of the Gourmand Magazine. And then I heard it. I won best cookery demonstration at the Yi Yin Cup. More photos, more security. Team GB won, anyone got a spare ticket for London 2012?