Cooking at home can be hard in Hong Kong. Be it due to a lack of space, the wrong instruments or trouble finding the right ingredients, most of us go out to entertain – with the same people all the time. Kill two birds with one stone by honing a culinary skill while expanding your social circle without the aid of a mobile app.
One of the oldest and still one of the best places to learn the art of Chinese cuisine is at the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute (CCTI) in Pok Fu Lam.
Something of a home grown Cordon Bleu for Hong Kong, the CCTI trains chefs looking at a career as well as foodies, families and visitors in its four-hour general interest classes.
The Fun Kitchen courses lead a minimum of 10 students ($880 per person) through a pair of Chinese staple dishes, from prep to service, with professional chefs and the institute’s trainees. The class includes lunch and a certificate to prove what you’ve mastered.
If you’re looking for more homey Chinese dishes, Martha Sherpa’s full-day ($1,680 to $2,680), half-day and evening cooking classes in North Point are the way to go.
The fundamentals of dim sum, roasted meats, stir frying vegetables, marinating, desserts and even Thai food are taught in a hands-on, no frills environment, and as classes are filled on a first-come, first-served request basis, you never know who’s going to be in your class.
Sherpa can also provide classes in Cantonese, Putonghua and Fujian on request.
For a more modern, casual experience call Culinart in Wong Chuk Hang. Best known for its catering and event space rental, Culinart also provides customised cooking classes that are perfect for groups of friends, Facebook or otherwise, and work particularly well as corporate team-building exercises.
Try your hand at traditional dishes or experiment with molecular cuisine and dig into the science of food in lessons and demos tailored to your tastes.
From its studios in Tsim Sha Tsui, Tai Po and Tin Hau, Ma Maison welcomes budding gastronomes of all skill levels into its modern, open plan kitchens for food enlightenment and education as well as fun.
Armed with a regular team of international chefs, Ma Maison offers classes (prices vary) in Italian, Japanese, Australian, French, English, Spanish and American (yes, American) cuisines.
Watch out also for themed classes such as cooking with or pairing food with sake, cupcakes, macarons, family lessons or helper classes.
Finally, if your new flat has a mysterious object called an oven in it, drop into The Mixing Bowl for one of Hong Kong’s sweetest cooking classes.
Teaching kids and adults the fine art of baking macarons, breads, tarts, scones, buns, cupcakes, cinnamon buns, and classics from Italy, the US and of course Hong Kong (from $400), this tiny baking school has the potential to create true gastronomes — young and old.
For ambitious kids aged 6 to 14 on school break, a 15-hour summer camps ($3,000) are designed to teach the basics of baking chemistry and nutrition as well as expand taste horizons.
Mixing Bowl has a fun, intimate vibe that encourages culinary messiness. You will be covered in flour.
Chinese Cuisine Training Institute
7/F, VTC Pokfulam Complex, 145 Pok Fu Lam Road | www.cci.edu.hk
14/F Wah Lai Mansion, 62-76 Marble Road | www.cookery.com.hk
22/F Kwai Bo Industrial Building, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road | www.culinart.com.hk
11 Tin Hau Temple Road | www.mamaisonhk.com
The Mixing Bowl
5 Shin Hing Street | themixingbowlhk.com