A Note on the "Dinner for Six at Empress Pavilion" Contest

We want to thank all of you who contacted KCET with your concerns about the Departures contest to win "Dinner for Six at Empress Pavilion."

Departures is an original online series featuring portraits of communities in the Los Angeles region. Our most recent installment, Departures "Chinatown," is an exploration of one of L.A.'s most historic cultural destinations.

In Departures "Chinatown," we interviewed the general manager of the Empress Pavilion restaurant to learn more about Dim Sum, a staple of both Chinese and Los Angeles dining, and the contest stemmed from this original interview. The language promoting the "Dinner for Six" contest went beyond Dim Sum to include a fuller list of items on the restaurant's menu, one of which was shark fin soup.

The goal of the Departures series is to promote greater cultural understanding of the diverse communities in the Los Angeles region. Citing shark fin soup in the promotional copy was not intended as an endorsement of any of the controversial practices surrounding this particular dish.

Your response has helped us realize that our contest inadvertently raised valid and important issues that neither it nor the original interview were designed to address. While we stand behind the Departures interview with the Empress Pavilion staff, we have decided to suspend the contest in response to the feedback we have received.

One of the many goals of the Departures series is to foster dialogue and engagement, so your feedback and insights have been greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to contact KCET with your concern.


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I love Chinese food and I'm fascinated by chinese sulture and people but I am VERY greatful you have descided not to promote shark finning. Thank you very much and good luck =)


I am impressed with the speed of KCET's response to our pleas to end the contest on the grounds of not supporting a restaurant that serves Shark Fin soup! Props to KCET! Thanks to all you who posted comments!


Thank you for responding by suspending the contest. If you look into the cruel practice of shark-finning, you will see why many restaurants are finding alternatives to using real fins in their soup.