The visit to the Forbidden City was delightful, I was impressed by amazing Beijing gardens and shocked by the level of smog in this city. But from all my trip I would never forget this cooking classes. It was the best thing I could do during my visit!
One of my favourite way to get to know the country is to eat local cuisine. And what about preparing it by yourself?
While visiting Beijing you can get some totally different feeling of the city by cooking Chinese cuisine with a local chef. I truly recommend you to choose “The Beijing Cooking School”, which I enjoyed a lot during my visit in May 2017.
The school is run by Chef Chao, a Chinese guy who located the school at his home. He lives in the hutong (type of narrow streets with low build, commonly associated with northern Chinese cities, most prominently Beijing) and he invites guests directly into his kitchen.
It makes cooking something more than just preparing the food. You learn, eat together traditional Chinese food and share Chinese culture.
The classes starts with a visit to a local market. This is an extra option for which you have to pay additionally, but it’s worth doing. It’s time to get to know each other better, with the chef and other participants, and of course ask as many questions about the products as you want.
Upon returning to school, we started real cooking.
The kitchen is very professional and you have access to really good equipment. The theme depends on what you have chosen before. There are many options, for example:
- Sichuan cuisine,
- Canton cuisine,
- Beijing cuisine,
- Noodles menu.
Encouraged by my boyfriend, who loves spicy food, I decided for Sichuan. It was a bull’s-eye. We were preparing four dishes: Stirfried Sichuan beef with chili and Sichuan pepper, Twice cooked pork, Fish fragrant eggplant and Tiger skin pepper.
I’m not a good cooker. Frankly speaking I don’t cook at all, but the course is designed for everyone, no matter of your skills.
I‘m sure that regardless of the level, you will take a lot from it. You will learn about cooking techniques (such as how to keep a knife, how to use it and not cut yourself 😉 or how to peel garlic) and products you have probably not used before. Ingredients provided by chef Chao were very good quality. You will appreciate it, because the secret of good cooking lies in the quality of your products. Have a look:
An interesting addition to the course was a lecture on how to choose a good soy sauce, one of the basic ingredients of Chinese cuisine.
At the end of the classes you have the pleasure of eating your own meals. I was proud of myself. It was delicious! 🙂
This cooking course is not one of the cheapest, but it’s very well spent money. If you like to eat local food, this activity is perfect for you.