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|
|The Hutong upstairs patio|
|Familiar and unfamiliar|
|Peppercorns and chilies - so many great spices|