The "Fires of Sichuan" Culinary Festival opened here Thursday, featuring chefs flown in specially from China's southwestern Sichuan Province.
Two restaurants from the Ni Hao Chinese restaurant chain are hosting the festival, with the branch on St. Petersburg's central boulevard Nevsky Prospect filling with locals keen to get a taste of some authentically spicy Sichuan fare.
The week-long festival coincides with a period of hot, humid weather in St. Petersburg, similar to the weather for which spicy Sichuan cooking was designed.
A spokesman for the Ni Hao restaurant chain told Xinhua that the company was aimed to cater to a growing demand for authentic Chinese cuisine in Russia's cultural capital.
Culinary festivals featuring other Chinese cuisine are scheduled for the coming months.