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17/07/2018 - 10:27

Hue city to build culinary center to serve tourists

To make Hue really become the “food capital”, together with the promotion, Hue needs to synchronize its facilities, build culinary centers to serve tourists.

Promoting advantages

Dr. Le Thi Minh Ly, Director of The Vietnam Center for Research and Promotion of Cultural Heritage assessed that: “Hue cuisine is a heritage which is an integration of many cultural values such as: folk knowledge, lifestyle, the way of thinking, rituals, social customs, and decorative arts, etc.,  together with related orally handed down cultures. Being created, re-created through many historical periods by many generations and being passed and popularized to these days, Hue cuisine has become a national and international brand name.

Culinary festival held at Hue Festival is considered as a start to promote Hue cuisine

In a discussion to talk over the solution to develop Hue cuisine brand name chaired by Tourism Department, the representatives frankly commented that although Hue is aware of the importance of food in tourist attraction, the Tourism Department has not paid enough attention to the exploitation of this strength so far. The programs to promote the destinations or the activities having been implemented do not bring about the real effectiveness.

Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Deputy Director of Tourism Department, accepted that some of the reasons why Hue cuisine is not well-exploited is that tourists have not known about the rich “food warehouse” Hue is possessing. Over the years, the number of food promotion programs has been limited the image of outstanding products has not been built up, the message used in promoting the food to the world has not been formed, modern media and IT applications have not been applied and lack of offices and information channels which provide materials about culinary culture and official information on qualified food service destinations, etc.

Some of the activities aiming at boosting the cuisine to become tourist product have been implemented such as: International food Festival; in which Hue cuisine played a main role in Hue Festival from 2010 up to now, and the scientific discussion about Hue imperial and traditional cuisine which is periodically held 2 times per year. In current years, the discussion gathers many cultural researchers and culinary experts all over the country and from many other countries which have famous cuisines in the world, etc., however, those activities are just assessed as the ‘start’.

Recently, the Provincial People’s Committee has issued the communication plan named “Hue – The capital of Vietnamese cuisine – An exciting enjoyment of 2018 – 2020 period” According to the plan, they will promote, set up and manage the brand names of specific forms of Hue cuisine such as: imperial cuisine, folk cuisine, vegetarian cuisine, street foods, lagoon foods.

Building a stable foundation

According to Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, no matter what tourists choose: heritage travel, eco travel, community travel or leisure travel, food enjoying is always an activity that tourists want to learn and explore. Hence, there will be more programs to expand the cuisine held in the coming time such as: Vietnamese kitchens in Hue gardens, imperial dinner, vegetarian food festival, international food festival, cooking contest, teaching how to cook Hue food, etc.

The leaders of tourism industry acknowledged that Hue cuisine service, especially the line of imperial cuisine at most Hue restaurants still have not ensure the authenticity of quintessence which has been filtered through many historical periods. Although the street food bars can bear the local flavor, it is very difficult to ensure the food safety standards.

Although the restaurants, hotels in Hue have attempted at maintaining the typical dishes of Hue, they have not yet actively explored and restored the raw materials, spices and cooking recipes of traditional dishes and developed the new dishes based on the quintessence of Hue cuisine. The way of serving tourists of many restaurants is still limited.

According to leaders of Tourism Department, the goal of the city to 2025 is making Hue a food capital. In addition to the government’s efforts, the restaurants, enterprises need to have plans to build the specific, unique products and to shape the products, services, etc., to meet the need of new demands.

According to Mr. Vu Hoai Phuong, Rector of Hue College of Tourism, the school is planning to coordinate with the Viet Nam Cuisine Culture Association to construct a culinary interpretation center. At this center, tourists will be able to view Hue dishes, experience food processing and cooperate with travel enterprises, restaurants to provide services and build the culinary tour. However, it will need more time to make it come true. It is easy to plan the ideas, but the execution has to follow certain process. Nothing can be reached in a short time.

According to the plan of the Provincial People’s Committee, together with food promotion, the committee will set up the identification of restaurants, eateries that meet the standards of serving tourists; gather people who are devoted, skilled, and knowledgeable; support the restaurants and eateries by providing them with policies of restoring the real quality for dishes which are considered as heritages of culinary culture; and set up tours of experiencing Hue dishes such as: nigh cuisine, street cuisine, lagoon cuisine, Hue cakes, Hue sweet soups, Hue folk and imperial meals and vegetarian cuisine, etc.

Story, photo: Duc Quang

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