More than 5,000 jars of soybean sauce, essential for hotpot, are displayed in Wenchang village in suburban Chongqing. [PHOTO BY XIE QIKUN/FOR CHINA DAILY]
Like many other local cuisines, Chongqing hotpot lacks a professional branding system, standard production process management and a general development plan.
As a result, the Chongqing Hotpot Academy was launched in 2014 by the hotpot association, the Chongqing Cuisine Association and the Chongqing Modern Vocational Training Academy.
Li Dejian, president of Dezhuang Hotpot, said, "Despite there being several million hotpot workers in the city, there is still a shortage of professionals."
The academy has created a teaching and practice system, Li said, adding that creativity and innovation are also important.
Zhu Jiangyu, general manager of Jiafu Hotpot, said, "The essence of Chongqing hotpot is the handmade soup base. By mixing dozens of spices, every restaurant can create its special base."
Since 2014, Chongqing has been applying to add hotpot to the Statelevel Intangible Cultural Heritage List in order to protect the traditional cooking process, skills, utensils and dining style.