Getting Moderately Deep With... A Chef at a Lanzhou Restaurant Chain

By Edoardo Donati Fogliazza, September 26, 2018

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In our monthly series 'Getting Moderately Deep With... ' we ask a food vendor tough questions. Well, sort-of tough.


This month we meet Li, a cook at Ma San Yangyu Pian, a restaurant specializing in Lanzhou cuisine. 

How are you feeling today?
Very well. I had a very deep, refreshing sleep. Even though business is not going very well today, I’m in a good mood. 

What is your idea of the perfect day?
The perfect day is a fulfilling one. One in which all things go according to plan from the moment I wake up. 

What is the first thing you thought when you woke up this morning?
I thought that I wanted to sleep some more! 

Who is your best customer?
I think our clients are generally OK. None are better than others, as long as they spend money. 

Do you have some bad customers then?
People who come from small towns who think that the food does not live up to what they used to eat at home. They always complain. 

When and where were you happiest?
Back home, when I was younger. I really miss being a boy, when I didn’t have to deal with any of life’s hardships. 

Which talent would you most like to possess?
I would like to really master the art of cooking, to be able to cook any dish I want. I can do this already, but I would like to do it even better, and be recognized for it by others. 

If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I wish I had planned my life a bit more thoroughly, and made more long-term plans. But hey, we do what we can. 

What is your most treasured possession?
Gifts I receive from others, because of the sentimental value attached to them. 

What trait do you most value in a person?
Honesty. 

What is it that you most dislike?
Talkativeness. I find people who talk a lot annoying. 

What is your motto?
I really like the phrase: “Destiny is set, so why be so obstinate?” Maybe that’s a little fatalistic. 

Which era of Beijing’s history would you most like to have lived in?
I think living in the present is good enough. Maybe I think that because I don’t know anything else, but I really have no interest in going back to a past era. 

Who is your idol?
Edison Chen [laughs]. I really like him because of how he dealt with excessive attention from the media. He must have quite the character.


You can taste Li’s Lanzhou specialties at Ma San Yangyu Pian, 185 Yonghegong Dajie, Dongcheng 东 城区东直门南小街18号, 马三洋芋片

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