Tomorrow marks the arrival of the Shanghai Creative Bazaar, which as dutifully reported in our local English-language rags, is a celebration of those brave souls who flout conventional wisdom and revel in offbeatedness. (Otherwise known as artisans.) Forty designers and 30 shops of handcrafted zaniness, y’all. We’d be amiss, however, if we didn’t mention that in addition to sartorial sizzle, there’s plenty of sizzling food to be had as well. The luncheon, which runs in conjunction with the rest of the festivities (from 10 am to 3 pm, with an afterparty to commence at 7:30 pm) showcases a cornucopia of organic food’s finest, and yes, we’re here to break down exactly what that means. To start, a half-leek, half-spinach soup, followed by a squash and sweet potato sformato (similar to a soufflé), and then, the piece(s) de resistance: a Panini duo. Beef tenderloin with tonnato sauce (no, that’s not a typo), and for veggie lovers (and lovers of peppers), a roasted pepper sandwich. Oh, and in case the sformato didn’t tip you off, this is definitely Italian, and we’re not talking Ruzzi either, although the one-price-buys-all (50 kuai for the whole shebang) might lead you to think that.
As for our chef — trained extensively at two Michelin-starred restaurants, one in Italy, one in San Francisco, so we’re talking primo grub here. And yeah, we know the Zendai MoMA (in Pudong) is a haul, and that tomorrow’s forecast is rain, rain, and more rain, but the sandwiches won’t be soggy, and that has to count for something.