A food documentary with bite

Updated: 2014-04-19 07:35

By Han Bingbin (China Daily)

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The long awaited second season of A Bite of China, a phenomenally popular documentary in 2012, is poised to further explore the relationship between people and their local food.

The eight-episode documentary journeys to more than 150 regions across the country, discovering the age-old wisdom behind artistically crafted urban banquets and simple home cooking, as well as the value of nature's raw offerings.

"We hope that by featuring China's food, the documentary will be able to show audiences at home and abroad China's traditions and social changes, as well as the unbending, frugal and tenacious character of the Chinese people," says the documentary's chief director Chen Xiaoqing.

 A food documentary with bite

An ethnic kid helps prepare a dish in the second season of A Bite of China. Among more than 300 kinds of featured foods, many are ethnic specialities.

Chen says the second season is expected to give greater insight into society and culture by closely relating food to the narrators' life experiences. The role of food in everyday life will hopefully be better explained when juxtaposed with modern lives, such as migrant workers and single families.

"What we want the most is that after watching the documentary, viewers will have a strong impulse to go home and cook their family a dinner, practice a hometown specialty, learn to cook a dish from their mothers, and treat their everyday meals seriously," says Deng Jie, one of the co-directors.

The show will be co-directed by eight young filmmakers, many of whom have been internationally educated and won prizes worldwide. Some of the episodes imitate the style of Hollywood family dramas, road movies and martial art films. Each 50-minute episode contains more than 1,500 shots.

The crew has also managed to feature foods from a larger variety of angles by using different filming equipment, such as infrared, microscopic and endoscopic cameras. The team even developed automatic macro filming equipment to capture the detail of dishes.

At the latest TV Festival de Cannes, the documentary was heavily promoted and its broadcast rights have already been sold to major TV stations in countries, such as Belgium, says Liu Wen, director of China Central Television's documentary channel. The first season of the documentary has been translated into more than five languages, including English and French, and distributed in more than 40 countries.

The show started airing on CCTV's documentary channel on April 18.

Viewers can also visit the program's official website co-launched by CCTV and gourmet website Douguo.com, where more than 300 dishes featured in the documentary and detailed information about them, including recipes, will be posted.


 A food documentary with bite

A Bite of China features delicacies from different areas. Photos Provided to China Daily

(China Daily 04/19/2014 page15)