Ask anyone who has traveled – either for a day or for months – about the best way to begin.

The most common answer might be: With delicious food, engaging conversation and a full belly.

As in: Chow down on gastronomical delights prepared with the best ingredients in a mouthwatering, brain-pleasing, smile-inducing, let-me-try-some-now, please-get-out-of-my-way way. In other words, cuisine prepared just-like-they-make-it-back-at-your-grandparents’ house.

For Wing Luke Museum guests and Chinese Heritage Tour participants, this evening will be one in which nine good, old-fashioned Chinese dishes will appear on tables at Four Seas Restaurant in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District.

To top it off, guests will hear about the links that tie food, history and places in a talk given by Maxine Chan, a Seattle cultural specialist and food anthropologist.

Pretty good, huh?

The deadline to buy dinner tickets has passed. But we’ll give you an update on what we see, hear and, certainly, eat in family-style fashion.

What can guests expect?

Try these, for instance: Pigs feet, steamed fish, olives and watermelon seeds.

As Chan told writer and food enthusiast Tanantha Couilliard in a recent article in the International Examiner, a Seattle newspaper devoted to Northwest Asian American communities:

We like to give an experience attendees wouldn’t find anywhere else….Ingredients that were used in the 1800s-1900s will be showcased at the event. There’s no cornstarch being used, as back in the day, people carried stuff in a wagon and had to pick ingredients that were multi-purpose like flour. No one carried cornstarch.

The recipes are inspired by the Chinese who left what is now called Guangdong province in southern China.

During the 19th century, many departed for a better foothold in life – including places in the American West.

One good thing for those who have never enjoyed flavor enhancers: The meal will be free of monosodium glutamate – or MSG, as Chan told the International Examiner.

Another way to think about the meal in the context of the Heritage Tour is this way: Even if it’s overcast or chilly this week, there will be rich memories of the MSG-free Monday night meal.