This well-run school set in a charming lane house was launched by Shanghainese couple Miranda Yao, who directs the school, and Norris Chen, a former professional chef who teaches many of the classes. The floodlit studio illustrates the great design eye of the founding couple, with ceiling-height wooden shelves stocked with equipment and spacious cooking stations laid out so that ingredients and tools are all at your fingertips.
Chen, who previously worked at five star hotels, gives only simple English instructions, but he’s happy to answer questions with his limited English. While most of the dishes are half-prepped (onions are partially sliced and shrimp are already peeled for example), we still get plenty of hands-on experience at our own personal cooking stations. Our final dishes are delicious successes.
Menus run to an extensive variety of cuisines, from Mediterranean and Mexican to Sichuan and Shanghainese. Non-Chinese cuisines are led by Chen, while Chinese cuisines are taught by other chefs, with Miranda Yao translating in excellent English. Classes hours are variable depending on your needs, with a meal of your own food at the end. Prices range from 1200 RMB/hour (1-2 person) to 3000 RMB/hour (7-8 person) and more, with separate ingredient costs. Each class is available for booking via phone calls.
This is a friendly, busy school in a beautiful space where we would love to spend more time. Unlike at many schools, there are lots of dishes which are practical and affordable to replicate at home, even in the most basic of kitchens.