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Chinese culinary schools


goyatofu
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Hunan food not a major style?

There are probably more Hunan restaurants here than any other kind. And it is not some variation on Sichuan food. It is very different.

Also, very popular in the US.

http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?showtopic=3382

Note that I did not say Hunan was a variation on Sichuanese. And I am aware its very different from Sichuanese - less use of sichuan pepper and sugar than Sichuanese, an aversion to mixing sweet and savoury yaddayaddayadda.

As I said, I would view western cooking as one of the four major branches of Chinese cuisine. Sichuanese and Hunanese would be subsets of this.

As I also said, once you start folding in regional subsets of each of the major branches - Hunanese vs. Sichuanese, Imperial vs. Shandong vs. Beijing, Shanghai vs. Anhui vs. Jiangsi, Fujian vs. HK vs. Guangdong. Plus of course the pot-pourri that is Taiwan. And don't forget the 55 Chinese ethnic minority groups - the Hui (great beef noodle), the Uyghur (lovely kebabs), the Dai (ants on a stick, if that's your sort of thing), the mongols (roast dead sheep) etc etc - of course you get to eight, or ten, or a hundred different more cuisines.

But as I said, most authorities would peg the major schools at four - northern, southern, western and eastern, with numerous variations thereof.

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As regards which cuisine is prevalent in US, UK etc note this is - obviously - a product of the chinese diaspora. Overwhelmingly this reflects the coastal provinces rather than inland. In the UK because of historic links with Hong Kong southern cuisine is prevelant. In the US the original wave of C19 Chinese migration was mainly from the coastal provinces to the West Coast so you had a lot of Fujian, Guangdong food as the archetypal Canto-American. After 1949 there was more migration from Nationalist China/Taiwan particularly to the LA area so there was greater prevelance of Taiwanese food. In the years before and after 1997 there has been another wave of Hong Kong immigration to both San Fran and Canada (particularly Vancouver) which has brought another wave of classical Hong Kong cuisine.

For these reasons you generally find inland provinces - Xinjiang, Sichuan, Hunan - and their cuisine are less well represented amongst the Chinese diaspora in the west. Of course there are exceptionals - I know very good Xinjiang joints in San Fran, and there are a number of Sichuan places in NYC - notably Grand Sichuan. Nonetheless in my experience Chinese cuisine in the tends to reflect coastal (ie southern or eastern) schools rather than the north or the west.

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Well, it's up to you. If you want to insist that there are only 4 styles, feel free.

I doubt that you'll meet many who agree with you.

(Do you know what ants on sticks are? Why wouldn't they be someone's thing?)

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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(Do you know what ants on sticks are? Why wouldn't they be someone's thing?)

Nono, not the noodle dish

Literally ants on a stick! Basically variations on insects fried or cooked in bamboo sticks... A bit touristy to be honest (try the daijiacun restaurant in beijing) and /definitely/ an acquired taste!

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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I'd put it that many of the info-documents floating around concerning chinese culture (lonely planet comes to mind) take great pains in dumbing down china's food to 4 main groups, exactly as was just described. I've seen this written in many places. Though I have often heard the number 8 within China. At the same time even though I think I've seen the 4 groups IN china, most Chinese would not get how things could be dumbed down so much.

As for the OP, I'd love to more more about what the post was really concerning, and whether it was connected much to the post subject. I'm not particularly interested in school placement in china, but my old cooking school would love to send some of their chefs here. And if you are actually inquiring about a culinary database in china.... woah... I've had dreams of putting together something similar. Quite close to it too..

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As I understand there are 8 main cuisines, Fujian, Shandong, Szechuan, Guangdong(Cantonese), Anhui, Hunan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. This evolved from 4 cuisines (Szechuan, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shandong) which in turn evolved from 2 (simply north and south cuisines). Wikipedia describes Chinese cuisine quite well. Hope this helps to clarify. :smile:

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hmm I can't get there.. since wikipedia is blocked in china..

but that list seems to ignore more northern cuisine or muslim cuisines of the north or especially the west. I do think Shandong cuisine has made a lot of impact on the food in beijing (beijing duck...!) but still there is quite a bit of Dongbei food there that is very different. This list, aside from sichuan/shandong, is more likely a list of renowned southern cuisines.

Anyway, I don't know why we bother doing this! China's a very diverse place.. and one thing that is inherently common here is that the longer you are here visiting/living... the less you are able to say for certain!! Food is no exception. Trying to simplify Chinese cuisine into a few odd categories will invariably lead to several provinces of 60 million or more people losing out!

Try simplifying the food of Europe in 4 categories and you come to a similar problem

Edited by jokhm (log)
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ah the mirror is working now. I was having lots of problems with it from Shanghai before. Seems that internet blockage occurs far more in shanghai than anywhere else I've been in china. You wouldn't think so.. but.. yeah. Didn't know anonymouse was working again too!! Finally.. And blogspot is back... ! I think we're getting somewhere now. Oh i should shutup quick.

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the main 5 cuisines

What are they? Most authorities accept a minimum of 8.

This because there are basically just 2 types of Chinese cooking available outside China.

?

according offcial historical journals and records the Chinese cuisine is divided into the:

1. Yue Cai (Canton Cuisine)

2. Jiang Nan Cai (Shanghai cuisine)

3. Lu Cai (Shandong cuisine)

4. Xiang Cai (Hunan cuisine)

5. Chuan Cai (Sichuan)

Everyone that has interest in this in China knows this. The cuisines are also related to The former administative regions China held in Imperial times.

Any further sub divisions is possible but if you study at a culinary school you normally study one of the 5 cuisines as mentioned above.

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ah the mirror is working now. I was having lots of problems with it from Shanghai before. Seems that internet blockage occurs far more in shanghai than anywhere else I've been in china. You wouldn't think so.. but.. yeah. Didn't know anonymouse was working again too!! Finally.. And blogspot is back... ! I think we're getting somewhere now. Oh i should shutup quick.

try torpark with firefox and all your problems are solved.

Surfing around the f i r e wall is easy i would say and never had any problems with in Beijing or Shanghai

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As I understand there are 8 main cuisines, Fujian, Shandong, Szechuan, Guangdong(Cantonese), Anhui, Hunan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.  This evolved from 4 cuisines (Szechuan, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Shandong) which in turn evolved from 2 (simply north and south cuisines).  Wikipedia describes Chinese cuisine quite well.  Hope this helps to clarify.  :smile:

sometimes wikipedia is not accurate. i have studied sinology and found many facts there simply false. There are anhui restaurants here but the cuisine is Jiangnan same as for zhejiang and Jiangsu.

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hmm I can't get there.. since wikipedia is blocked in china..

but that list seems to ignore more northern cuisine or muslim cuisines of the north or especially the west. I do think Shandong cuisine has made a lot of impact on the food in beijing (beijing duck...!) but still there is quite a bit of Dongbei food there that is very different.  This list, aside from sichuan/shandong, is more likely a  list of renowned southern cuisines. 

Anyway, I don't know why we bother doing this! China's a very diverse place.. and one thing that is inherently common here is that the longer you are here visiting/living... the less you are able to say for certain!! Food is no exception. Trying to simplify Chinese cuisine into a few odd categories will invariably lead to several provinces of 60 million or more people losing out!

Try simplifying the food of Europe in 4 categories and you come to a similar problem

Beijing Duck was brought here by the court that moved to Beijing in the Ming (1368-1644). It was in the 15th century that the first Duck serving restaurants opened in the city.

Not from Shandong but from Jiangsu.

Anyway Duck lovers eat the Sichuan or Guangdong prepared versions of this bird and not the so called Beijing Duck.

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Yeah I'm no longer using firefox at the moment... maybe when the new version 3 is out since i'm hearing good things. Got anything for safari? Must be some other good ways out there but I'm quite lazy. Anyway most of my gripes were with blogspot, but thats suddenly no longer a concern!

As for beijing duck.. Makes sense, and definitely all forms of duck that I've had in the south easily beat out beijing duck! But I still enjoy one every once in a while. I instigated some guys from Shandong into a real shouting match over its origins being lucai. Was news to me as well.

I also am enjoying some of wikipedia's china food entries. I suppose if I were really concerned I'd edit them, but too lazy again. I should go add the Hunan peanut butter dumplings onto the Hunan food subpage :) Or perhaps add the most significant and widespread chinese foods, like KFC's spicy wings.

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  • 2 weeks later...
sometimes wikipedia is not accurate. i have studied sinology and found many facts there  simply false. There are anhui restaurants here but the cuisine is Jiangnan same as for zhejiang and Jiangsu.

ok thanks, point taken.

back to your original post, i'd be interested in having access to such a database. i was looking for a culinary school in china some months back, but not anymore because i've made other commitments. having a central point of access would save a lot of time.

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sometimes wikipedia is not accurate. i have studied sinology and found many facts there  simply false. There are anhui restaurants here but the cuisine is Jiangnan same as for zhejiang and Jiangsu.

ok thanks, point taken.

back to your original post, i'd be interested in having access to such a database. i was looking for a culinary school in china some months back, but not anymore because i've made other commitments. having a central point of access would save a lot of time.

sure write a mail to me and i see what i can do for you.

need to know your level, budget etc.

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  • 6 months later...

back to your original post, i'd be interested in having access to such a database. i was looking for a culinary school in china some months back, but not anymore because i've made other commitments. having a central point of access would save a lot of time.

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back to your original post, i'd be interested in having access to such a database. i was looking for a culinary school in china some months back, but not anymore because i've made other commitments. having a central point of access would save a lot of time.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all! Greetings from Brazil!

I've been planning to go to China to take some cooking lessons. Not just one of those one day programs but a more extended one.

Since I don't speak mandarim and I believe there is no time to learn it, I'd rather go to a place where they could speak English...

Please let me know if any of you know about some cooking school that fits that criteria (maybe in Hong Kong?).

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

eduardo

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  • 9 months later...

Hi

I am also planning a trip to China and would love to spend a week or so learning to cook authentic chinese. This would actually influence where I decide to go. I have not been able to find anything obvious through Google searches. This thread seems to be going in the right direction - but there are no specific answers.

Can anyone help?

Regards

Steve Holland

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