Cooking class at the Peninsula.

The real housewives of HK attend the Peninsula Hotel‘s cooking classes every few months. The hotel is over on the Kowloon side and it’s arguably the most iconic establishment in Hong Kong… The class begins with an elaborate breakfast spread in the bowels of the industrial kitchen mega-complex that keeps this five-star hotel humming. The ladies let me know that the traditional Chinese coconut roll (below, left) is shaped that way to look like a chicken’s tail.
I heard about the class from my native Hong Konger friend Elaine (above, right) and also the Mr.’s work colleauge Shanley who flies in from Shanghai every time the four-day classes are offered. They’ve both been attending regularly for years like most of the participants.

From my random surveying of the housewives, I think Shanley is the only person who takes the classes that actually cooks! He was also quick to point out that if we were to simply steal the handbags alone in the room that we could both retire like kings. I can’t even begin to tell you how much these ladies adore Shanley… and he certainly hams up being the only male in the class!

The theme of this session was French cooking made easy. David Goodridge, the Executive Chef of Gaddi’s (the nicest French restaurant in the Peninsula), taught the class and I’ve uploaded all of the recipes in case you’re interested here. One recipe I think I will try at home is Shellfish Vierge Pasta Sauce with razor clams (below at left). I had never seen razor clams before, but apparently they are native to Washington State, New Zealand and China. It’s basically a long chewy clam, but it falls out of the shell very easily and presented well on a plate with noodles as it fits right in!
I am all about easy, one-dish meals so I am also excited to try the Oven-Baked Ragout with Sea Bream–which is basically a fancy way of saying you saute some onions, peppers, and tomatoes… add fish and zucchini and bake for 12 minutes before serving. A perfect, healthy weeknight dinner.
I am also all about the chocolate mousse, although I must admit that these little glass cups really make the dish. Not only are they the perfect amount of mousse, but they look so cute.  By the way, you can make this up to three days ahead of time.
So after a morning full of tasting and sampling, we then naturally sat down to a four-course lunch–of fare far more complicated than that which we were just taught to make–complete with wine pairings.
The food was beyond exquisite, not that any of us had much room left for it!

I am looking forward to the pastry and Shanghaiese classes offered later this spring… but I will likely just sign up for one day out of four as I was stuffed and in serious need of a nap by the end of the day! I don’t know how these ladies manage such a tough existence.

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10 responses to “Cooking class at the Peninsula.

  1. Wow, I envy you 🙂 I love going to cooking classes, one always learn something useful…

    • Dick Ma,The mutually exvicslue approach towards Mainland China and Taiwan can keep Hong Kong from influence initated by them. However, the mutually exvicslue approach towards BN(O) possible lawful change into BC and other current bearing of Commonwealth citizenships like Canada, New Zealand and Australia may cause Hong Kong suffer from diplomatic isolation, loss of possible leverage with Commonwealth and immediate loss of large amount of skilled and well-educated labours from migration overseas.No dual-nationality policy may cause Hong Kong fall into another Singapore and ignored the reality of last 3 decades Hong Kong connections with overseas immigrants and their dual nationalities. This gap likely causing key positions taken by the new Double-Non children. Such damage would larger than tolerating the majority of dual nationality of BN(O) and HKSAR currently changing into BC and Hong Kong dual nationality while UK can pay for its debt owe Hong Kong people since British Nationality Act 1981.UK likely thanks for your recommendation of no dual-natioality policy which can ease her panic from BN(O) while many current BN(O) holders have no choice but give up BN(O) or future BC for carry out daily livings in Hong Kong.Dual Nationality of future BC and Hong Kong from BN(O) historical reason does not attempt to glorify Colonial Era of Hong Kong but a soft-landing exit solution to win Hong Kong peoples’ hearts and minds that they need not to panic to make another uncertain and painful choice of nationality which possibile causing another identity crisis among general public.

    • To Ming,Because China forcefully imspeod Chinese nationality on Hong Kong BNO People after 1997. They should have a right to choose their nationality freely after independence. If not, even Hong Kong one day become independence, it will be no difference as the communist regime. Like Bobo case, we could see how he suffered. In extreme situation, if many HK people choose to give up either HK and Chinese Nationalities, and claim BC But STILL wanted to live and work in HK. Well, the NEW HK government should setup a special permit for them, but they will not eligible to have some sort of rights, like applying any social welfares from Hong Kong.I think the permit arrangement will also help to avoid the great influx of the immigration problems for the UK government too, as Hong Kong people have to think very thoughtfully about their nationality. If you claimed BC, you’ll lost some of the HK citizen’s rights, that’s opportunity cost.

    • Dick Ma,June 3, 2012後話:如果香港獨立後奉英王為名義元首,當時新政府容許雙重國籍,我個人考慮獨立後保留英籍。from martinoeiComment: dual nailtnaioty for Commonwealth and (future) Hong Kong citizenships preserve psychological stability among Hong Kong society. Singapore does not allow dual nailtnaioty and strcit legal control make Hong Kong new generation understand we cannot totally follow Singapore’s old road and Commonwealth bounding can help future Hong Kong international positioning like Canada, New Zealand and Australia.Thsoe 3 above mentioned enjoy propular and friendly international reputation while keeping relatively small size and effective defence capabilities. Singapore spends 5% GDP for Annual Defence Budget which Hong Kong society cannot afford. Soft and Smart Power through leveraging the historical and cultural bonding with Commonwealth members can prevent from accusation of unrealistic affection on United Kingdom and restoring its colonial occupation in Hong Kong.

    • Always refreshing to hear a rational answer.

    • You need a new category: BEER!I like most of your list already so I'll have to make a note to check out the others. Not a huge fan of porters though. I do like some of them though. Stouts I really have to be in the mood for and I'm usually not. Thanks for the list.

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  2. I would love to join these courses. Will you let me kow when is the following one?. Maybe we can go together!

  3. Pingback: Cooking tips from the Real Housewives of HK. | Hong Kong Housewife

  4. The class sound so interesting. How do I sign up for the next one? Thanks. Linda

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