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Yanqi Lake entices chef wannabes for a day in the kitchen

By Mike Peters | China Daily | Updated: 2016-01-22 08:33

Yanqi Lake entices chef wannabes for a day in the kitchen

Pastry chef Cord H. Bredemeyer guides the cooking class to make Mille feuille of bitter and white couverture mousse on mangopapaya mirror at the Kempinskioperated Sunrise Hotel in Huairou district of Beijing.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Li notes that liver can taste fatty after cooking, a sensation he cuts by preparing the foie gras with balsamic vinegar and serving it with bitter-edged arugula on the side.

After several members of the group duplicated Li's preparations, they stepped out of the kitchen and the rest of us washed up to cook steaks.

We peeled asparagus stalks. Cooked a demiglace (after rehearsing the proper pronounciation: deh-mee glahs), sauteeing shallots before adding some dry red wine and prepared broth and reducing that by half before adding parsley, salt and - of course - butter at the end. Marinated the Australian Angus filet with salt, pepper and garlic, then flash-fried the beef to seal in the juices before broiling it.

Our final course was a bigger adventure, as its name suggests: Mille feuille of bitter and white couverture mousse on mango-papaya mirror.


Couverture is not the chocolate most of use at home - it's made with cocoa butter and chocolate liqueur. It requires "tempering" - an elaborate beating process on a flat surface - to keep its brown color and make it shiny. (Compound chocolate, commonly used in home cooking, is made from cocoa powder instead of cocoa butter, and it's easier to handle and to heat.) The process was fascinating, but required more professional equipment than most of us would have at home. A fun session for a gang of foodies, though.

By late afternoon we were at the restaurant dining table, getting our fill of all three dishes.

The Kempinski-operated Sunrise Hotel hopes its new cooking series will attract guests - like me - who will make a weekend visit to see the much-talked-about hotel and have a little culinary fun, too. Upcoming classes for adults, including four-course set menu meal, are 488 yuan ($74) per person: Chinese New Year specialties (Jan 30), healthy set menu (Feb 27) and vegetarian dishes (March 19). Classes for kids (188 yuan) include fancy doughnuts and cupcakes (Feb 20), healthy breakfast (March 5), authentic Italian pizza (March 12) and Easter cookies and cakes (March 26). For information and reservations, call 010-6961-8888, Ext 3852.




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