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Hong Kong Cooking Schools

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My boyfriend is being relocated to Hong Kong and I am contemplating joining him, provided I can come up with a worthwile excuse...

I'm a huge "foodie" and have always planned on one day having a career in the industry, but would enjoy (and could probably use) some professional training. I've been researching the web and contacting schools in the New York area to determine which of the programs in Hong Kong would be best for me, but have yet to come up with any hard and fast answers. I would like to learn the techniques of Chinese cuisine, but also have the option to learn classic Western preparations. I am also wondering which of the schools has the best international reputation, as I will only be in Hong Kong for a year or so and would like my degree to hold some weight in the USA.

Here are the schools I've come up with so far. If you have an opinion on any of them, or any recommendations that I may have overlooked, please let me know. Thanks!

Chinese Cuisine Training Institute (CCTI)
Chopsticks Cooking Center
Towngas Cooking Center
Cookhouse

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  1. Towngas is a friendly place and genuinely bilingual. The main focus is domestic cooking. I highly recommend it if they offer the type of course you're looking for. Send me a note if you need a contact there. CCTI is more orientated towards professional cooking. They claim to offer English translation for their one day courses, but I attended one as a member of the press and little was translated for me. If you attend one of the longer courses, I guess you could arrange your own translation if you need it. Chopsticks Cooking Center failed to respond to my emails when I enquired of their courses. My understanding is that their focus is domestic cooking. I have no experience of Cookhouse.

    I hope this helps.

    All the best,

    --
    Ian

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ian

      Thanks for the feedback! Very helpful!

      1. re: Ian

        I just came back from Hong Kong and two days of classes at CCTI. I can't say how their english speaking program will be, but our interpreter, John Woo, spoke English very well and could explain clearly each ingredient and their purpose for their dish. I do agree that the classes are more vocational and training is geared to become a professional chef. They also train to the western classical styles as well. If you're only going to be there for a year, I would suggest to look somewhere else.

        1. re: Ian

          hi ian..my friend is a chef that works in a chinese restaruant in miami florida.. how/where can he go to improve his profession... there are very few good cooks here in south florida... what are your suggestions? thanks

        2. In Hong Kong, there's a "Martha Sherpa's cooking school". They emphasize in professional restaurant style Chinese cooking and dim sum making. They teach in English. You can search the web for their information.

          2 Replies
          1. re: winnies

            I just sent the school an email. Thanks so much for the info!

            1. re: little miss s

              I'm going to be visiting Hong Kong for a week during the summer and was interested in taking a full-day cooking class. I was wondering if you tried any of the schools mentioned. If so, do you have any feedback or suggestions of where to go? Thanks in advance!

          2. Hi Little Miss S,
            I wonder, did you go ahead with your Honk Kong plans? And if so which cookery school did you sign up with? What was your experience with the Martha Sherpa school? I'd love to hear how it has worked out for you

            1 Reply
            1. re: Marie Claire Digby

              I thoroughly recommend Martha Sherpa - I just did the intensive Thai cooking course this weekend and had a brilliant time. I was a bit put off by the dingy building, but once I got into the cooking school itself I was very impressed with how spotlessly clean it was. Martha really knows her stuff! She also does Chinese cooking and dim sum.

            2. Wondering if anyone has any updates to this thread. I'm in Hong Kong at the moment and Martha Sherpa has had to unexpectedly cancel classes this week. I'd love to find another place to learn some new techniques, and soon! Anyone??

              1. I just completed a day-long class at the Martha Sherpa school (www.cookery.com.hk) in the Mong Kok district of Kowloon. It was excellent --- three dishes we prepared ourselves, then two dishes that were demonstrated, followed by an hour and a half walk through the Mong Kok wet market. I learned not only about how to prepare the food, but a great deal more about Cantonese food and culture. I recommend it highly. It's right near an MTR stop, so not hard to find with Martha's good directions and help from Google maps.

                1. little miss s- I cannot tell you how excited I was to see your post! I am in your exact situation (18 months behind you...) My boyfriend is relocating from the US to Hong Kong for an excellent opportunity and I'm trying to decide if I'm going, too! I've always been a foodie, (have worked in restaurants, as a private caterer and wedding planner) but never cracked into that world long term in the states...I think this might be the best excuse to leave the corporate world for good! Can you please comment on your experience in Hong Kong? Have you attended any of the schools you list? I've done some internet research on CCTI, but I'm concerned by the comments regarding translation, as I'm not experienced in Mandarin or Cantonese. It would be invaluable to hear your opinion. (Or anyone elses experiences, too!) Thank you! =)