Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Hutong

On the long flight to Beijing, Brian learned from our first China friend, Park, about a cool Beijing community education center and cooking school, called The Hutong. Knowing that it is one of my goals to learn to cook Chinese cuisine, Brian surprised me with my first class shortly after we moved into our apartment. 

It was a Market Tour, and while not a cooking class, it was the perfect introduction. Our teacher guided us through a local Chinese market, explaining the different sections, quizzing us on various familiar and unfamiliar produce, and suggesting common uses for foods and spices. Then she helped each of us make purchases -- a bag full of fresh produce for only a few dollars. 

Afterward, Brian and I ended up talking to one of the Hutong chefs after our tour and he invited us to a charity event later that evening. We had good food, great margaritas, and got to know some new friends. I'm looking forward to more Hutong learning, starting tomorrow with The Chinese Kitchen: The Essentials!  

The Hutong sitting room

The Hutong kitchen preparing for the charity event

Entrance to the art room and stairs to the balcony

Courtyard from above

Hutong rooftops

The Hutong upstairs patio

Fresh produce!

Familiar and unfamiliar

Peppercorns and chilies - so many great spices


Anonymous said...

What fun! I'm glad to see that you are getting to do some fun things this week. You need to soak up the ideas of this school and bring them home with you to re-create here. We'll help!

theRachel said...

This sounds very exciting - I look forward to reading about your adventures in Chinese cuisine!