You are what you eat. This has proved to be undeniably true in recent decades as food research is teaching us more and more about nutrition. The Chinese have always been a food-obsessed people whose knowledge of herbs, fungi and other medicinal plants goes back over two millennia. In Asia, Traditional Chinese Medicine practices are widely provided alongside ‘western’ medicinal practice for the public. Thus, a patient in a hospital in Hong Kong can select Chinese or ‘western’ medical care, or both. But prevention is always better than cure. The Chinese are also strong believers in natural food as the way to a healthy life. Today, several culinary studios in Hong Kong – Sesame, 6 Senses and Day Day Cook – go beyond the kitchen to return to nature: cook your own foods for a healthier, better you.
Kids Cooking Class at Sesame Kitchen
Sesame Kitchen founder and chef Shima Shimizu grew up seeing her little brother struggle with allergies, making frequent visits to the doctors. Was it the dust or the food? She realised that it was his body that was reacting adversely against foreign objects. Thus, her quest for health and food knowledge began. She learnt raw food cooking at Living Light Culinary Art Institute, California, and to further pursue her expertise in nutrition, she completed studies at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, New York. She founded Sesame Kitchen to provide health coaching on how food allows the body to heal itself, and how it can enhance wellbeing throughout different stages of life. Shima can show you how to prepare healthy meals, using raw and living foods, grain-free, gluten-free cooking and the GAPS diet, also including toddler nutrition and the preparation of fermented foods. Vegans, vegetarians and meat lovers are all welcome. www.sesamekitchen.com
6 Senses Cooking Studio
6 Senses Cooking Studio Founder and Managing Director Denice Wai grew up helping her father with his successful catering business in Hong Kong, and came into contact with authentic cuisines in Southeast Asia, Europe and North America during her extensive travels. Her family’s history of heart disease, diabetics, food allergy, high blood pressure, asthma and cancers urged her to study how to prepare health-conscious dishes. Since 2004, Denice and her team of culinary instructors have been providing classes on regional Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Thai, Mediterranean and other specialities, for individuals and corporations. Her most recent kids’ cooking class teaching children from age six to twelve how to make fresh salads – tomato; fruit and shrimp; or edamame – and a main course – be it spaghetti alla carbonara, mushroom risotto or chicken stew – is a great example of how we can all take our wellness into our own hands by starting to make healthy dishes at home. Watch ‘Denice’s Kitchen’ on the TVB Network Vision, as she’s also a well-known chef personality on local television and in the press. www.s6nses.com
Day Day Cook
One of Hong Kong’s most recent phenomena in home cooking is Day Day Cook. Founder Norma Chu, with a passion for gourmet cuisine that runs strong in her family, worked at HSBC Private Bank as Head of Investment Management Bond Research Department, until she decided to found her own business and share the love of homemade Chinese dishes with busy families. In just a few years, Day Day Cook has been catapulted into the spotlight. It is not difficult to understand its recipe for success. The preparation of classic Chinese specialities, which were once thought to be impossible to make at home, has been broken down into simple, easy-to-follow recipes that are quick to make. What’s unique about Norma’s approach to her cooking classes is the combination of Chinese culinary practices and Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts, with a young innovative spirit that rings true with both young professionals and parents. Seasonal dishes following the lunar calendar, recipes targeting better circulation, and themed classes on indispensable Chinese ingredients such as tofu and many others, make Day Day Cook very much a part of the Hong Kongnese lifestyle. www.daydaycook.com