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Hear the story of one of Beijing's most renowned duck restaurants, and meet the charming legend behind it.

Interview: ZHANG LI QUN

I was born in Beijing, and I grew up in the Haidian District...and I was very interested in the Royal Three Mountain Course, Imperial Garden. After I was laid off from work in 1991, I was unemployed and stayed at home [for a while]. So I started selling roasted duck [out of my home]...and then, little by little...I started to do more and more.

I chose this place, our courtyard, as my home..this was actually my wife’s family home!..[laughs]. 

To make a roasted duck, first, we need to prepare the duck [skin]. There is an ancient method, which you inflate underneath the skin [of the duck]...and blow air through their mouths..nowadays, we all use an air stick [to create the same effect]. We prepare the duck this way because it is the traditional process used in The Qing Imperial Kitchen. This process maintains the original flavor..and it is this flavor that attracts so many people. We still have to insure that we maintain this flavor.. to keep the crowds coming [and keep up the reputation].