China World Chaîne Day
Bailliage of Shenzhen
Hainan Island, April 12-14, 2019
Celebrating with a three-day culinary marathon
" What a place! What an event! What a celebration! "

This year’s World Chaîne Day was highly anticipated. For the first time, we decided to celebrate this special day in a city outside of Shenzhen, in fact we travelled all the way to Hainan Island known as the “Hawaii of China”. Under blue skies and on Sanya’s sandy beaches our celebration lasted three days packed with delectable activities.

Highlights of the gastronomical marathon …

Seafood being the main attraction of this wonderful island the first arrivals explored local seafood markets. A Thai cooking class offered by the Shangri-la was followed by a scrumptious Thai meal with out-of-this-world TomYamGoong and spicy chili Hainan crab. Naturally after a full morning the afternoon was dedicated to relaxing ahead of the evening’s big event.

As the sun set more members and guests came decked out in their finest beach casual wear and Chaîne ribbons. A cool breeze was welcome as were the cool drinks with warm company.

Being an outdoor event, we were concerned about the weather. Fortunately, it was a beautiful evening. The first course delighted everyone. A platter of local delicacies including Wanchen chicken, Wuzhishan pig, omelette with lau leaf, plus Hainan Hele crab and avocado, was accompanied by Albert Bihot Heritage 1831 Chardonnay.

An aromatic rice wine seafood broth with veal and seaweed was served before freshly-caught King Garoupa with Wuzhishen wild vegetables and seafood bisque.  The fish was divine: cooked to perfection with the flesh silky and juicy and perfectly complemented by Adelsheim Chardonnay from Oregon.

Cool and refreshing, a ruby red dragon fruit sorbet cleansed palettes ready for the main course of Hainan Jiaji duck roasted by an open mango wood-fire right on the beach. It really brought to mind the beginnings of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

Both duck and Connetable de Talbot (second wine of Château Talbot, Saint Julien, 4th Growth Bordeaux) were impeccable. The service provided by the Shangri-la team was immaculate. Dessert, a lovely concoction of Wannin coffee mousse with purple yam crepe, was quickly polished off with Rizzi Moscato d’Asti.

Gradually everyone made their way down to the bonfire on the beach. With live music provided by the band, everyone had a great time, enjoying the musical atmosphere and the company even more. With rowdy sing-alongs, the exuberant crowd partied well into the wee hours of the night.

Miraculously, looking absolutely refreshed and recharged, members and guests turned up bright-eyed for the sumptuous, picturesque brunch that awaited them in Villa #5, not forgetting the endless flow of beverages including ever-popular Rosé and Prosecco. Shockingly we had no problem in sampling a bit of everything there was to offer. It was the perfect ending to a perfect gathering.

What a place! What an event! What a celebration! The countdown to WCD 2020 started immediately.

Vive la Chaîne!

Estella Pan
Bailli