Last week, I took my first Japanese cooking lesson ever. I am not much of a cook but I have always wanted to learn how to make an egg roll and gyoza – half fried, half steamed dumplings – something my son loves to eat even when he has no appetite. The class was organized by Bonappetour – a collaborative consumption platform that connects travellers with various local hosts that teach their favorite dishes at their homes. It’s the very opposite of Tadaku – Japanese popular platform that connects Japanese gourmet with foreign hosts living in Japan who teach their favorite national dishes at their homes. I just love the concept of sharing meals in a comfy home environment. The food is always great but even better are the witty conversations with interesting people who always speak so passionately about their cultures. Honestly, home meals are the best. I don’t feel quite as connected when the same meeting takes place in a public place.
Our host was an LA born Japanese professional cook with years of experience and a lot of patience for a rookie like me. She spoke perfect English and was a pure delight, amusing us with funny trivia about the food we were making.
Although it was a gyoza making class, we made bunch of small dishes as well. My favorite of course was an egg roll and I really loved the cucumber pickles too. Since the class, I already made both dishes three times and each time it was just as delicious as the ones I made during the class. There is a real difference between learning from a recipe and following the directions of a pro. I am now thinking of taking all their classes. I wish I could come with my son. He loves cooking.
At the end of the meal, we got a nice surprise – roasted tea with warabi mochi – traditional Japanese dessert. I left happy and satisfied with three new friends and precious new skills that my family really appreciate. I can’t believe I didn’t do it earlier. Thank you Bonappetour and thank you Arigato Japan.