The Temple House, in collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and One Planet Foundation, hosted an event in the heartland of giant pandas, Chengdu, Sichuan on International Panda Day of 27 October 2023. This event, titled "Gifts From The Nature" for the International Panda Day, aims to appeal to the public to extend their care for all endangered wildlife and their habitats, just as they do for Chinese treasure, the giant panda.
The "Gifts From The Nature" event signified the inaugural collaboration between WWF and The Temple House, enabling urban consumers to directly access eco-friendly agricultural products from communities surrounding protected areas and gain insight into the conservation stories behind these crops. Tony Xu, Executive Sous Chef of The Temple House, and his talented culinary team carefully selected 16 eco-friendly ingredients from communities around giant panda habitats to craft a concise and innovative six-course menu, highlighting the natural beauty of the ingredients.
In this specially curated menu, Chef Tony used the rice from Yang County, Shaanxi, which grows in the habitat of the endangered crested ibis. Farmers in this area strictly control the use of pesticides and fertilizers in rice cultivation to allow small insects to thrive in the fields, providing ample food for the crested ibis. The menu also featured "zero deforestation" black fungus from Baishuijiang in Gansu, replacing traditional “sticks” with reusable mushroom plugs, supported by WWF. This innovative production method preserves the taste and quality of the black fungus while safeguarding the local ecosystem. A special welcome drink for the event was created by using schisandra chinensis berries from Pingwu in Sichuan, following strictly Panda Friendly standards that avoid tree or vine cutting, while leaving 20% of the berries for bird consumption and propagation.
Chef Tony emphasized that this collaboration with WWF perfectly aligns with The Temple House's commitment to sustainable dining. Throughout the menu's design, he minimized food waste and sourced seasonal ingredients locally to support the communities surrounding protected areas, thereby embodying the "farm-to-table" concept and enabling urban consumers to directly connect with local farmers.
At the "Gifts From The Nature" event, Zhou Fei, Chief Program Officer of WWF China, elaborated on the challenges faced by rural communities near protected areas within WWF project areas. To support conservation, WWF collaborates with protected areas, national parks, and local governments to assist agricultural communities in developing forest agricultural products sustainably and eco-friendly. These products are purchased by companies dedicated to supporting environmental protection. In this process, WWF, in conjunction with the Sichuan Provincial Forestry and Grassland Bureau and relevant certification organizations, introduced the "Panda Friendly Certification." This certification further regulates the production process and adds ecological value to the products, gaining recognition from consumers.
Simon McHendry, General Manager of The Temple House, expressed, "we are thrilled to support such a meaningful event and aspires, through The Temple House, to directly work with more local farmers in protected areas while contributing to local ecological conservation."
The Temple House will continue to uphold and implement its commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development, alongside WWF, as they jointly pursue a future characterized by harmony between people and nature.
The Temple House
No. 81 Bitieshi Street,
Jinjiang District, Chengdu,
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