King of the traditional championIn recent years, Taiwan’s Hakka Affairs Council has been very active in promoting the Hakka culture and enabling it to develop in a diverse and refined manner. As a result of this promotion, Hakka cuisine, specifically, has received a lot of favorable attention from the public. The culture of Hakka cuisine is going through a great transformation due to the higher standard of living in Taiwan and Taiwanese people becoming exposed to advanced culinary art and knowledge about healthy living. The Hakka people not only want to preserve Hakka cuisine’s traditional ingredients, signature techniques and characteristics, but also hope that Hakka cuisine can achieve an even more refined, creative and perfected. By combining the culture’s delicacies with modern cooking techniques, a new trend of Hakka cuisine can be developed as Hakka people seek to instill an exquisite culinary taste and higher quality into their own dining culture. The Hakka people also aspire to give Hakka cuisine a presence in the international market so that people from home and abroad can experience the wonders of Hakka cuisine. This has become a main priority of our council when it comes to promoting Hakka cuisine.

The Hakka Affairs Council has organized the “Hakka Cuisine Festival” since 2005 with the resources and support obtained from both public and private sectors. Activities such as giving business management guidance to Hakka culinary businesses, Hakka gourmet food competitions, Hakka food fairs and the Hakka food month are all held during the festival. The event generates over 150,000 visits of guests from home and abroad and reveals the allure of Hakka cuisine to more people.

To enhance the diversity and creativity of Hakka cuisine, the council held its first “Hakka Flat Rice Noodle Competition” in 2008 and gave every contest team an opportunity to rewrite the history of flat rice noodles. The contestants took the characteristics of Hakka “wide rice noodles” (bantiao) and made a variety of amazing dishes with them. Because of the creativity of the contestants, wide rice noodles are not your ordinary wide rice noodles anymore. They can be made into any dish, whether it is Chinese, western, exotic cuisine or even deserts due to the boundless creativity demonstrated through the dishes at the competition. The variety of culinary art displayed is as colorful as it is tasty.

Immediately after, from December 26, 1998 through January 3, 1999, on the New Year’s Eve celebrations, the 2009 Creative Hakka Gourmet Food Competition – Hakka Stir Fry Contest was held alongside the First International Fair on Hakka Goods 2009 at the outdoor plaza of the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall. To encourage participation of the public, for the first time amateur chefs were allowed to attend the competition. In addition to the contestant sections of Expatriates, Families, Students and Working Professionals, the Section of Contestants with Entertaining Cooking Skills was also included in the competition. A total of 130 teams entered the contest whereby non-professional chefs also had a chance to show their cooking skills and the general public could feel a strong sense of participation. Of all the contestant sections, the Section of Expatriates is designed to extend the diversity of Hakka cuisine. According to the results of the competition for the section, the champions were an 88-year-old Hakka woman and her Vietnamese daughter-in-law. The winning dish was a mixture of Hakka ingredients and Vietnamese flavor, which created traditional Hakka sautéed dish that displayed a Southeast Asian flair. Overall, the event re-interpreted Hakka gourmet food through various ingredients and diverse cooking methods and inspired endless culinary creations.

In 2010, to continue advancing the development of Taiwan’s Hakka gourmet industry, a Hakka-styled dinner feast competition titled Hakka Gourmet: 2010 Hakka Dinner Feast Competition was organized to promote Hakka gourmet foods by adding the elements of Taiwanese local culture into the food. The finals were held on December 18, 2010, at the parking lot next to the A11 building of the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store in Taipei’s Xinyi District. A total 131 teams attended the competition, with 12 professional and non-professional teams advancing to the national finals. The panel of judges selected a champion, a first runner-up, a second runner-up and honorable mention (two teams) and winners of the Creativity Award (three teams). Activities such as DIY Hakka snacks, gourmet food samplings, prize quizzes and promotional sales of Hakka goods were also held at the competition. They drew a large crowd of enthusiastic participants as the