The day-long event, comprising an academic conference and dinner at the Metropolitan hotel, whetted both intellectual and physical appetites. Envisioned as an inter-disciplinary exploration of food, Asian Foodprints gathered together from around the world academics, food writers and culinary critics, journalists, film makers, chefs and dedicated “foodies” to examine the multi-faceted contributions of Chinese and Hong Kong cuisine to the global community. Experts from a variety of backgrounds contemplated the political economy, cultural sociology and aesthetic of Chinese food. The notion of “authenticity” was debated, just as the idea of “fusion” was imagined as the continued integration of Asia into the global mainstream. Over 100 conference participants and guests were treated to a dim sum demonstration, where master chefs at Toronto’s top restaurants not only displayed their craft, but also discussed the much deeper philosophical and aesthetic components of Chinese food. Later that evening, over 150 guests experienced an unbelievable meal, one which was served with commentary by Metropolitan Hotel’s Executive Chef, Patrick Lin.

The Asian Institute is particularly proud of the Asian Foodprints initiative. It is one which captures the interdisciplinary scope of the research conducted at the Asian Institute. It ties together the university and the broader community. The conference serves as a place for engaged dialogue and debate. And most important, Asian Foodprints reflects the University’s privilege to contribute to the multicultural fabric of Canadian society. The Asian Institute is delighted to announce that the event will be held again next year and the focus will be Japan.