New institute at UC Davis to focus on food, beverage culture
September 9, 2013
• First in world to examine the culture of China’s foods and drinks
• “Food brings all of us together”
A new institute devoted to Chinese food and beverage culture – the first of its kind in the world -- is getting cooking at the University of California, Davis, the university says.
The “Confucius Institute” combines the research of UC Davis and China's Jiangnan University into food and beverage science and technology, with the goal of promoting understanding of Chinese food and beverage culture.
In addition to fostering education and research, the institute will encourage conversation between the food and beverage industries of China and California.
There are more than 90 Confucius Institutes in the United States -- including four others in California at UCLA, Stanford University, and San Diego and San Francisco state universities – but the one at UC Davis is the first in the world devoted to Chinese food and beverage culture.
Charles Shoemaker, a UC Davis professor of food science and technology with extensive experience in China, serves as the director of the Confucius Institute at UC Davis. Linxia Liang, director for Asian international programs at UC Davis and a scholar in Chinese law, serves as co-director. Serving as deputy director is Jianqiao Dong, professor and dean of the School of Foreign Studies at Jiangnan University, which consists of 18 schools and 63 undergraduate programs and has about 20,000 full-time undergraduates and over 7,000 part-time students.
Serving as culinary adviser is chef and restaurateur Martin Yan, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees in food science from UC Davis, and is known for his television programs on public TV.
"Food brings all of us together," says Mr. Yan. "Food is also history, culture, anthropology. Food is a reflection of culture, history, religion and many other things."