Around this time last year, a friend of mine started to bring cookies, brownies and even cakes to work every week. Soon enough, we found out that those mouth-watering baked goodies were created in her baking class at George Brown College in downtown Toronto. And that was the first time that I googled George Brown College in my browser. After spending a couple hours reading through their baking and cooking course descriptions, almost immediately, I decided to take some classes there. Growing up in Beijing, baking is not really a Chinese thing. Not too many Chinese people would say that they have a sweet-tooth, especially by the North American standard. I would enjoy a nice dessert after a meal and sometimes I would bake cookies and bring them to work, but I wouldn't be bothered much if the surface of a cheesecake cracked in my springform pan. Although the baking classes seem very interesting too, Culinary Arts I became my very first cooking class that I signed up for at GBC.
Being a chemistry Ph.D student myself, I can easily apply my chemical knowledge into cooking. Just like setting up experiments in the lab, I gather all the starting materials (ingredients), follow the procedures (recipes), using tools (knives, pots) and heat control, to synthesize the final products (dishes). Even without too much experience, I have a decent intuition of what ingredient goes with what. I cook regularly and my dishes have received compliments at pot-luck dinners. If I was asked whether or not I can cook, I'd answer yes. But only I knew that my home-cooking menu was screaming for a upgrade. Although I could routinely make several dishes and make them really well, the old tricks did get boring when I recycled my recipes every 3 weeks or so. Expanding my cooking repertoire and learning the techniques in a systematic way are the major reasons for me to take cooking classes.
And of course, as you may have guessed, I am passionate about FOOD! All kinds of food, Chinese, Italian, French, Thai, etc. I am not a picky eater at all and I like trying new things. While eating out, another hobby of mine (my Asianess kicks in) is to document my meals by taking close-up pictures of the food. Sometimes I write restaurant reviews here and there on Tripadvisor and Yelp. But I figured it would be nice if I can pool my food/restaurant reviews together in one place, and save them for future reference.
Last but not least, I feel like I need a place to share my recipes. I recently found out that I am a Marven, (a term picked up from Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point), meaning, I love sharing resources and information with others, like recipes, sales in the store...Having a blog might be the fastest way to share my recipes with the biggest audience and receive feedback. Remember, it's all about efficiency.
Long story short, I love food, I love cooking, I love taking photos of food and writing reviews, and I love sharing my recipes. So here it is, my very first blog, a blog about food, cooking, culinary education, recipes, and restaurants. Thank you for stopping by and looking forward to hearing from you!