Much of modern Chinese cuisine can be traced to Sichuan province, a cradle of Chinese civilization located at the confluence of the mighty Yangtze river and its many tributaries. Sichuan literally means Four Rivers, and, because of the province's strategic waterways, it has been a cultural and economic hub since at least the Qin dynasty (circa 200 BC). Over the years, the region has been central to the spice trade, and as such, the diversity and sophistication of its cuisine is remarkable.
An excellent example is the original Yu-Shiang sauce—a brilliant mixture of ginger, salt, chili pepper, sugar, and vinegar. With a chef who can find the perfect balance of these ingredients, you’re in for a luxurious bouquet of aromas and flavors. At Red Door, your dishes are always prepared by just such a chef.
Sichuan cooking employes over thirty different methods of food preparation, not just stir-frying and steaming, but dry cooking, sauteing, toasting, stuffing, fermenting, wining, dehydrating, and many others. Because of its diversity, few chefs can master the entirety of Sichuan cuisine, though many study lifetimes in the attempt; Sichuan cuisine is, in part, a folk art, passed down over hundreds of years from one chef to another.
Partly for this reason, in 2011, UNESCO recognized the distinctness and elegance of Sichuan cuisine, naming Chengdu (the province's capital) an official city of gastronomy—on par with Paris, Rome, or any of the great European cities.