School of Wok is counting down the days until the biggest event of the year...no not Christmas, the other one – Chinese New Year!
CNY is full of Chinese tradition, auspiciousness and excitement, however one thing is celebrated above the rest during this period: food!
We are running classes throughout the 15 days of CNY and can't wait for 2 food-packed weeks of non-stop eating.
Starting on the first day of the lunar year, we will be running CNY-special cookery masterclasses, cookery and wine-tasting sessions, lantern-decorating lessons (with food of course!) and Chinatown food tours. What's more, the celebrations will culminate in School of Wok's first interactive supperclub, the Lantern Festival Feast, meaning that this CNY will be the biggest celebration yet!
Outside of Asia, London's CNY celebrations are the largest in the world, with parades, lanterns, fireworks, dancing dragons and a never-ending supply of food - well worth a visit if you've never been before!
You'll get to see lots of Chinese traditions, including 'cai ching', which is meant to signify good luck and fortune. 'Cai ching' is when a dragon will approach shops and restaurants across Chinatown and eat vegetables (usually lettuce) that have been hung in front of their store, taking a red envelope as it goes. The dragon will then shred the lettuce and throw pieces over the watching crowd, showering everyone with good fortune.
There are loads of other auspicious food traditions undertaken during CNY that you will learn about in your cookery classes with us.
For example on the first day, a vegetarian dish called 'jai' is eaten, honouring the Buddhist tradition that no living thing should be killed on this day, with people abstaining from meat as it is believed to enhance longevity. Meanwhile, a sticky rice cake called 'Niangao' is also eaten to increase prosperity, while noodles shouldn't be cut as they represent long life.
Wide range of classes available throughout CNY:
While exciting, walking around Chinatown can be little daunting at CNY with crowds of thousands, music and celebrations going on wherever you look. Our CNY Flavours of China food tours (Saturday 9th, 16th, 23rd) will take you on a guided expedition around some of the more well-known - and secret hideaways - in Chinatown, picking up ingredients as we go. Then it's back to the school to cook up a festive feast, fitting for any CNY celebration.
Our special wine and dine lessons will give you a 3-hour interactive cookery masterclass, finishing in a 30-minute wine-tasting session, hosted by the girls from pop-up wine company 'A Grape Night In', imparting their passion and knowledge about great wine as you wolf down the tasty food that you have produced.
On 14th February, it just so happens that Valentines Day falls on 'Po Woo', the day of good wealth. Join us on a Couples Special Dim Sum course to prolong the wealth of your friendship with some handmade dumplings!
To finish off the CNY with a blast, School of Wok will be cooking up a storm for you to enjoy at the Latern Festival Feast supperclub. You can either choose to sit there and be wined and dined by our chefs for the evening, or upgrade to join them cooking in the kitchen!
Starting on Saturday 9th February 2013 and running to Sunday 24th February, this CNY will be extra special with School of Wok working around the clock to celebrate these festivities with you. We'd love for you to join us at the school but you'll need to be quick as places are filling up fast.
Click here to see all the classes we have available across CNY!