The Prima Ballerina reveals her favorite tastes from the Chinese capital

Hailed by TIME magazine as one of “Asia’s Heroes” and internationally regarded as one of the most superlative ballerinas in the world, Tan Yuan Yuan spends her time between Beijing and San Francisco, where she has served as a San Francisco Ballet principal dancer for 18 years. Tan and her talent are uncanny, but in other ways, the recently christened Rosewood Curator is just like us: she loves her comfort food. Here, she reveals three dishes she lines up for every time she hits the mainland and exactly why they hit the spot.


Peking Duck

“When I travel to Beijing, I will never leave without having Peking Duck. It is the taste of Beijing and it definitely brings my kid memories back every time I have it. Now I would recommend Country Kitchen at Rosewood Beijing. Their wood-roasted Peking Duck is revived from an old, lost recipe—and it’s better than any other Peking Duck I’ve had.”


Beijing yogurt

“For breakfast, I crave Beijing yogurt, which is a traditional fermented milk drink. To find the most authentic Beijing yogurt, you must go to a local newsstand on the streets, where they still sell them in the traditional white jars.”

Illustrations Sarah Hankinson

Illustrations Sarah Hankinson


Black Chicken Soup

“After a performance, it’s usually very late and everything is closed. In that moment, I visit Gui Jie (Ghost Street), the only street in Beijing that truly never sleeps, where I love to go for comfort food because it’s full of local restaurants. In winter, I love Black Chicken Soup, a traditional Chinese dish, to warm and soothe my body.”

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