May 242013

Last month saw some of the world’s greatest chefs descend on London’s Tobacco Dock, bringing together a handful of innovative visionaries from the world of gastronomy to discuss ideas behind some of their wonderful creations and put on cookery masterclasses for enthusiastic, salivating foodies.

At ‘The Lab’ event showcasing his experimental Chinese steamed buns was Jeremy Pang, the Head Chef at School of Wok, a specialist cookery school in London.

Reinvigorating Chinese Food

Jeremy, a firm believer in traditional cooking techniques combined with clean-cut, fresh and modern flavours, has been teaching Londoners for years that Chinese food can still be fun and more than just the ‘usuals’ that you order from your local takeaway.

Jeremy says: “A type of cuisine is not always restricted to what is ‘authentic’…we live in the UK and must be ready to adapt not just to Western tastebuds, but to what ingredients we think are ‘trendy’ or just much more readily available here.”

Doing their best to reinvigorate this once exotic cuisine, Jeremy and the other chefs at SOW impart their passion and knowledge of Chinese food, bringing a true taste of the Orient with an up-to-date twist back into the hearts of the Western world.

“I wouldn’t say I am trying to modernise Chinese cuisine; rather – working on creating great-tasting food, using traditional and modern techniques and ingredients,” he says.

A good example was his Blood Orange Beetroot Cocoa-Nib Bao that he showcased at ‘The Lab’: fluffy, white steamed buns keeping the traditional balance of “flavour, texture and colour”, but packed with a dark, rich, buttery chocolate filling to substitute the more classic custard or bean curd centre.

Now that SOW is on the map, it is offering intensive cookery lessons and longer chef courses in London, including the Dim Sum Extravaganza and Steamed Bun Fun. These are longer than your average classes teaching customers the ins and outs of the fascinating world of dim sum, a food that is really at the forefront of a Chinese food revolution.

Take Alvin Leung for example – also at ‘The Lab’ event in April – his self-titled ‘X-treme Chinese’ food and avant-garde dim sum is the epitome of modern Asian cuisine. Leung pushes the boundaries and creates exciting, playful yet unconventional dishes from his two-Michelin-starred eatery in Hong Kong and newly-opened restaurant in London.

Chinese food is moving towards being more ‘accepted’ in the higher end world of food,” says Jeremy, though he does say that the “real excitement” at the moment is street food. “Chinese street food in the UK has a long way to go, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts to become more prominent in the next few years.”

He says that Lisa Meyer’s ‘Yum Bun’, which creates clam-shaped steamed-bun sandwiches with an assortment of tasty fillings, is a “great example of a type of cuisine that has been around in China and South-East Asia for a long time, but has only just crept into the street-food scene recently”.

Jeremy added: “This is something that we are really looking into at the moment – dim sum being a prominent part of this so-called ‘fusion’ cuisine. As I always say: if you can close a dumpling, you can pretty much put anything inside it!”

For the most innovative cooking courses in the UK, look no further than School of Wok, which is doing its best to reinvigorate this once new and exciting, exotic cuisine.

About School of Wok:

School of Wok is a leading Oriental and Asian cookery school headquartered in Central London. Its aim to develop your cooking skills and make you expert in different cuisines like Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Thai and Japanese. For more information you can directly visit our site at :

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