This morning I woke up and felt like a million bucks. I don’t know if it was all of the tea, the dumplings or just getting some rest, but I felt a lot better! I We all met in the lobby at 9:15am and took the Subway again. Since we rode the subway last night, we all seemed to feel extremely confident in our skills and almost felt like a bunch of locals. We got off the subway and finally made it to our destination but got a little lost in the interim. We all had decided to take a Chinese cooking class so when we got there, all eight of us chefs were so excited and jumped right in. The cooking class showed us how to make two types of dim sum items, sweet sesame balls and this dough ball filled with sesame paste. Both were very good and we were all very proud of our Chinese concoctions. Our teacher was an elderly Chinese woman who did not speak English, yet somehow we were able to communicate enough to make our items look like hers. Food is the universal language and I was amazed that just by using gestures, we could quickly learn another cuisine. It was quite an amazing feat to watch all of us maneuver through this small space and accomplish everything in two hours.
After the cooking class, we started chatting with Mike who spoke very good English and was the owner of the company. He found out we were chefs and not only did he give us a traditional Peking Duck recipe, but he also gave us a VIP tour of their new culinary facility. We were all blown away by the new high tech kitchens and culinary facility. After that we all split into groups and did our own thing. A few of us ventured off to a government owned restaurant supply company that Mike had recommended. This was a really neat place that had four floors of culinary and restaurant items. I honestly bought way more that I should have, but there were some really interesting items there. Unfortunately this place was not in a very popular area, so after we were done shopping it was quite difficult finding a cab. We must have stood out there for at least twenty minutes before one decided to stop. After we all got back to the hotel, we were all hungry and ordered some Pizza Hut pizza. Can you tell we were starting to miss home? About thirty minutes later the two large pepperoni pizzas arrived and boy were we excited. We sat down and ate our fair share of doughy cheesy goodness. It was not very good and the large pizzas looked like mediums, but we were still happy to be eating something that tasted like pizza!
After our pizza experience, we all said goodbye to Minh and Goli since they were leaving at 8pm and then the rest of us went to another shopping district called Tianzifang. It was a quaint little shopping district that had a variety of restaurants and shops. It had a small French flair to it and had a different vibe to it than the rest of the places that I had visited. We walked around for a bit and went to a New York style pizza place for dinner. Yes, I had pizza twice in one day! We all were tired of Chinese and missed having a variety of cuisines….. Don’t judge! This place honestly did a great job with their pizza considering they are about 9,000 miles away from New York. I stuck to my NY roots and had two slices of cheese pizza and was impressed with the overall quality of it. I am sure they must have to get some of the items shipped to China since cheese, flour, yeast and tomatoes are not abundant items in China. After dinner we continued to walk around and found our way back to the hotel. When we got back, we said goodbye to a few others who were leaving early in the morning and then I started packing to go home.