Saturday, November 9, 2013

STARAcooking launches in Shunyi

 STARAcooking launches in Shunyi - Funding our hobby and educating the masses -- or how to share our love of food and cooking with new and old friends.

At STARAfood Beijing, we have been having so much fun writing about our cooking and eating exploits that we wanted to share our adventures with everyone.

While we continue to eat our way through Beijing and thoroughly enjoying it, we have discovered a gap in the cooking class market here in the capital. There are more cooking schools than you can count on your fingers and toes that teach mainly Chinese cooking, from all regions. You slice and dice the ginger and garlic and proceed to make a decent gong bao ji ding (kung pao chicken) or spicy green beans. It is fun, now and then, with the right group of friends to make your own dumplings all the while enjoying being in a quaint traditional si he yuan (courtyard house) down a hutong (alley) but for us; that is just what it is, a nice way to spend a day hanging out with friends.

But, we have discovered that out in the bushland of Shunyi there is nothing – nada – and there is also a want and need for what is for us traditional cooking - both techniques and recipes.  So who are we:

Sara (on the right) was born and raised in Sweden with soon to be 17 years abroad under her belt. She finds inspiration everywhere and loves to visit food stores while travelling. She started cooking early and is completely unable to follow recipes and always put her spin on things.  A blessing and a curse!

Stacey (the tall one) is a California girl with vast international experience through travelling and living abroad (over 10 years already).  A whizz in the kitchen without fear of trying new things and with an immaculate palate (so says Sara!).  

Introducing STARAcooking:  Our mission is to help our students not take cooking too seriously.  Show them that they can trust their instincts and that food is fun! Between the two of us, we have years of experience eating and cooking around the globe.  Having been expats and avid travellers for years, we have developed different approaches to food and recipes but share a love of enjoying it with our families and friends. And though we do not always agree on techniques and technicalities, we respect and value each other’s opinion, learn from them and find a middle way.

With a motto of “High Impact, Low Effort,” we specialize in making our students feel confident in the kitchen, creating fabulous meals in little time.  Focusing on fresh, quality ingredients with a broad range of flavors, even the most novice chef can feel like an expert. With key ingredients always on hand, a culinary highlight can be created in a snap!

We hope to welcome you to our kitchen soon and help you find your own inspiration!

Check the STARAcooking page on our blog for regular class updates or email us at for more information! 

Happy cooking!


  1. Sounds wonderful and such a great idea. Best of luck to you both, and def worth a visit from Tokyo, Emma xxxx (taller friend of the tall one). !

  2. Thanks Emma! We would love to see you anytime and certainly join us for a class!

  3. Great! I want to learn more. Please let me know when you have your next event. Good luck! Camilla