Carrying food on one’s head is a 200-year-old tradition that can be traced back to the Qing Dynasty in China, and a 66-year-old restaurant worker, is the 9th generation performing it.
A 66-year-old man identified as Chen ChangFa, who hails from Southwest China, is reportedly famous for his ability incarrying food on his head for 38 years, serving his fellow villagers famous Sichuan dishes.
According to Dailymail, the aged man who can carry over 10 dishes on a two-metre-long food tray to his customers without breaking a single dish, performs the act while wearing a pair of straw sandals, a white towel wrapped around his head and a two-metre-long food tray that weighs some 10kg.
Huanqiu, an affiliation with the People’s Daily Online, revealed that Chen has carried over 300,000 bowls over the past 38 years, and is often invited by villagers to perform during their wedding banquets and other festivals where hundreds of guests feast on the street in the village.
Speaking to correspondents, Chen told said that the straw sandals are slip-resistant and the towel around the head stabilises the tray. ‘I am wearing these no matter it’s winter or summer, it helps me to carry food around easily’ he said, adding that he was trained to carry all sorts of dishes, including heavy meat dishes and soups.
Chen wraps a towel around his head to stabilise the two-metre-long food tray
‘Da Pen’ is a tradition that started in 1700. It was invented to serve food to customers in a shorter time during banquets. Waiters carrying food on their head can move easily in narrow alleys or around crowds.
Carrying food on one’s head is a 200-year-old tradition that can be traced back to the Qing Dynasty and Chen is the 9th generation performing it.
Chen can carry a tray of 18 dishes to diners in less than 20 minutes without breaking a single dish or dripping sauce. He mentioned the key to perfecting ‘Da Pen’ is controlling and coordinating body movement, mind focus and fitness.
‘I have been learning the skill since I was 27 and carried over tens of thousands of bowls every year and I never broke a single dish,’ he told Huanqiu reporters.