From a person who simply does not like to cook, I recently stumbled upon a treasure in our Shunyi area. Christina’s Catering-Beijing (also known as Tina’s Workshop) is a known secret among some embassy families around here, catering dinners and private parties. But it is also known for cooking classes they host for expats and ayis alike. Sifting through the website at http://tinasworkshop.wix.com/tws#!, it’s quite apparent that they are available for many different cooking options, including in-home chef services, special events and more. While many of us have ayis who cook for our families, it’s great to know this business is out there to expand our ayis’ menu repertoire, or even just to help those of us who are fumbling around in the kitchen.
Christina’s Catering-Beijing began about seven years ago as a personal chef idea, and has since grown by word-of-mouth to offer catering and cooking classes. Chef Bai and Chef Ming have 20 years of experience working with expat families, studying different cuisines and often working with recipes provided by their clients. Discovering that ayis in area villas needed training in meal preparation, a new segment of the business was born.
If your ayi needs a little help preparing the dishes your family likes to eat, you can book classes for her. Tuesday and Thursday classes run from 9am-noon and are conducted in Chinese. Prices vary from RMB 50-100 per hour, depending on how many ayis sign up, with a maximum class size of five people. Classes for this term begin on Tuesday, September 25. To reserve space and find out about menu planning, contact Christina at 1343 985 2051 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The food selections on their website are extensive, ranging from Chinese and Thai to Mexican and Western dishes. They are also open to other recipes that clients might provide, since “a talented chef who understands the cooking method and main ingredients is able to present any cuisine nicely,” says Christina.
When I asked her, Christina seemed quite open to the idea of hosting birthday parties – something many of us around here would welcome as we are always looking for new and fun themes for our children’s birthdays. She also expressed interest in baking classes.
In the meantime, the options that they offer are great, making cooking easier for those who enjoy it, and even for those who don’t. To find where this gem is, click on the map section of their website and give them a call.