China's Regional Cuisines: Culture Through Food With Xiaokun Song - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Gastro Obscura

China's Regional Cuisines: Culture Through Food With Xiaokun Song

$235 per person Online Experience
5 sessions
Up to 25 people
See Dates
$235 per person
$235 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this five-part seminar, learn about the histories and cultures of various regions of China through the lens of food and cuisine.

Course Description

In this discussion-based seminar, we’ll learn about various regions of China through their distinct cuisines, using food as a vehicle for deeper learning. Join Atlas Obscura trip leader and educator Dr. Xiaokun Song as she walks us through cuisines across the country, as well as the histories, narratives, politics, and culture they’re steeped in. We’ll look at how geography has shaped regional cuisines and unlock cultural meanings and values in specific dishes. Each session will be largely lecture and discussion-based, with some time at the end of each class for questions. Our final session will take place (virtually) in a tea studio, where we’ll have the chance to meet with a tea master before having a final conversation weaving together what we’ve learned so far with time for sharing, questions, and sips of tea. By the end of our time together, you’ll not only have a deeper understanding of various Chinese cuisines, but also a new lens through which you can engage with and learn about your own culture/s. 

While this class will take a discussion-based approach to the material and will not include any live cooking workshops, Xiaokun will send a pre-recorded cooking demo to all interested students to watch on their own time. Dishes covered include: 

  • Cucumber in straw rain cape
  • Sweet and sour pork with pineapple
  • Fried rice of Yang-chou style

Some dishes contain ingredients that cannot be substituted. Please reach out if you have allergies or dietary restrictions. 

Gastro Obscura Courses: delving deep into the world’s culinary curiosities with expert instructors. 

Syllabus At A Glance

There are five total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours on five consecutive Thursdays beginning November 4, skipping November 25.

Session 1 (Wednesday, 11/3, 8–9:30 PM ET): Food Landscapes: Geography & Chinese cuisines

Session 2 (Wednesday, 11/10, 8–9:30 PM ET): Festivals & Ceremonies: Culinary clues to larger meanings and values

Session 3 (Wednesday, 11/17, 8–9:30 PM ET): The Myth of One "Chinese Food" & The Gap Between North and South China

-week off-

Session 4 (Wednesday, 12/1, 8–9:30 PM ET): The Importance of Drinks: Teas, alcohol, and more

Session 5 (Wednesday, 12/8, 8–9:30 PM ET): Live from the Tea Studio: Tea art & discussion

Pricing Options

If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for students, regardless of economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page. 

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

This online course is offered by Atlas Obscura. Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive, community-driven guide to the most incredible places on the planet and is now an award-winning travel company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online. Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit

For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

About Your Instructor
Xiaokun Song
Xiaokun Song

Born and raised in China, Xiaokun eventually traveled to Europe where she received a Masters in Art History and a doctorate in Chinese Studies. Education abroad opened her eyes to the misconceptions and barriers to understanding that many outsiders face when exploring her home country. Shortly after returning home, she founded Sourcians to open China up to the curious and adventure-hungry. Using her deep knowledge and extensive connections, Xiaokun provides meaningful experiences that inspire and awe. Her fascination for cultures has led her to use travel as a means to explore them all—from food and art to places and communities, Xiaokun’s trips are all designed with people and learning in mind.

What Else You Should Know

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

Group Size

There are 25 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability
  • Wed, Nov 3, 2021
    8:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
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