Confused with Confucius

 
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Kong Zhong, a.k.a. Richard Hung, a.k.a. Richard Kong, is a descendant of the 78th generation of Master Kong, a.k.a. "Kong Fuzi" or "K'ung-fu-tzu", also known as Kong Zi, or Kong Qiu.

A little confused? Simply put: Richard Kong is a direct descendant of Confucius, the world-famous philosopher and politician who lived in China in the 5th century BC.

I met Mr. Richard Kong, who is also a successful entrepreneur who controls several pharmaceutical, film, and media companies, and is president of the International Society for Descendants of Confucius, in a (very) fine and (very) expensive restaurant right on the Bund in Shanghai.

Richard Kong is a direct descendant of Confucius, the world-famous philosopher and politician who lived in China in the 5th century BC.

Fortunately, I was invited. The restaurant is the "Family Li Imperial Cuisine Restaurant" and accordingly the feel is somewhat "Imperial" too. Despite his countless interests and activities, he has a great passion that we share. Food and wine. For this reason, but above all thanks to a mutual acquaintance, I had the pleasure of meeting him.schaft, die ich mit ihm teile. Essen und Wein. Aus diesem Grund, aber vor allem dank einer gemeinsamen Bekanntschaft, bin ich auf ihn gekommen.

 
 
 
 

The extremely friendly and humorous Richard Kong is a passionate wine connoisseur. That's the first surprise for me. Wine and Asia … do they really go together? And wine with Asian food? How is that supposed to work? The second surprise: a waiter approached me and asked me if the Kobe beef fillet would be okay for me and how I would like to have it. But before the main course, a series of traditional and less traditional Chinese starters and the finest wine pairings had been planned. Planned by Richard Kong of course, who was such a generous host. "I hope I can try it all," I said, smiling with gratitude and admiration. “You must soon come to us for a 100-course banquet at the family headquarters in Quofu, Shandong. You'll be able to really appreciate what Chinese cuisine culture is," Kong replied.

Then came the third surprise: "I have chosen something very special for the Kobe beef," says Richard Kong, grinning mischievously. The waiter came one step closer and pointed to a bottle of wine. It's a 1995 Mouton Rothschild. I was standing before the most expensive sip of liquid of my life. But before I could taste the wine, mineral water was served. Two ladies came and stood next to me spreading a large cloth in front of my face, so that the tiny droplets of the bubbling water, which was carefully served by a third lady, did not catch me. The food arrived, small and large culinary experiences followed, each wonderfully paired with wine.

 
 
Richard Kong (right), his assistant (left), and me.

Richard Kong (right), his assistant (left), and me.

 
 

I asked him if he knows what Confucius said about food. "For Confucius, food was very important and much of it is abundantly documented. There is a saying of his: “Appetite for food and the other gender are two of man's greatest desires," Richard Kong explained amusedly.

“Appetite for food and the other gender are two of man's greatest desires"

"But did he really say it in this order: Appetite for Food and for the other Gender, and not the other way round?" I asked ironically.

In my previous research I learned that there are about 2 million people in the world who can boast about being descendants of the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius. (Confucius was probably a little confused when he formulated this sentence. Maybe he meant it the other way round). "I don't think so," said Kong, "but one way or another, everything in life is due to the appetite food and for the other gender. The necessity for food stands for daily survival from birth, and the desire for the other gender means to achieve reproduction and thus, in the broadest sense, immortality and infinity. Between these two aspects, is where life, culture, - simply everything else - happens."

There isn't much of Richard Kong's work on the Internet in English, but I found it in the Italian VOGUE (link)