Chicken dried and braised in a pot, a traditional Hunan dish prepared by renowned local chef Huang Huiming.[Photo povided to China Daily]
On Feb 24, the National People's Congress announced a decision to ban the hunting, trade and transportation of wild animals for purposes of consumption. This means China has enforced the comprehensive prohibition on the eating of wild animals on the basis of the Law on the Protection of Wildlife. Before the announcement, Huang Huiming, a famous chef, had already promised he would not serve wild animals and encouraged other chefs to follow his example through his account on Meipian, an information-sharing platform.
According to Huang, who is also the vice-president of the Hunan Cuisine lndustry Association, "to safeguard our health and security, keep ecological balance and biological diversity, I promise not to cook, eat or sell wild animals".
The chef with 39 years of cooking experience also advised other cooks to "treat wild animals kindly" and "refuse to cook and sell them". Moreover, he reminded the public that safe and delicious meat for cooking comes from those animals already tamed by people, and that wild animals are too dangerous to eat.
The cook specializes in Hunan cuisine, also known as Xiang cuisine, one of the top eight Chinese cuisines renowned for its spicy flavors, fresh aromas and striking colors. He has long held his views and was named as a "green cuisine ambassador" by the China Wildlife Conservation Association in 2001.
Born in a remote mountainous area in Chenzhou city, Central China's Hunan province in 1964, Huang took up cooking after graduating from high school and worked in a supply and marketing cooperative where he managed a restaurant in 1981. Since the restaurant was located near the 106 Highway, which links Beijing and Guangdong province, it attracted many customers.
In 1988, Huang opened a resBluetooth Tour Guide Systemtaurant in Chenzhou but the competition was intense and he realized he still had much to learn. He then went to Changsha in 1991 and began to master the craft from Wang Moquan, a top chef of Xiang cuisine.
After years of hard work, Huang started his own business, and opened a base in Changsha to research and develop Xiang recipes, designing dishes for restaurants. He also made sauces and organized activities to boost communication between cooks.
He participated in many competitions and seminars to improve his craft, and won a handful of prizes. In 2005, he won the Golden Chef Award, a major honor that recognizes those who have made immense contributions to cooking. He was also conferred with the honorary title of "a master of Xiang cuisine" by the Hunan Cuisine Industry Association in 2007.