Stickyrice readers, particularly those on the way to Vietnam, often make food related enquiries about Hanoi, many of them concerning cooking classes. Until now, I haven't been able - with any confidence or first-hand experience - to recommend a cook nor a kitchen.
Drum roll, people. Twenty-one gun salute, even.
Allow me to introduce the Hanoi Cooking Centre, the brainchild of long-time Vina food-phile, chef and cookbook author, Tracey Lister, and business partner Linh Phung Dinh, Hanoian born and bred expert eater and local hospitality insider. Launched softly a few weeks back, the centre is aiming to promote and teach Vietnamese cuisine from up and down the country, offering classes ranging from the dishes of Hanoi and the northern highlands to vegan tofu cookery to my personal fave, Vietnamese street food.
But, local expats and Vietnamese citizens sit up and take note. The centre is also catering for those who may have noodle and rice fatigue, those who may want to dip their cooking chopsticks into the cuisines of other regions, those who may have a new oven and don't know what to do with it. Graduate in bread, biscuits or elegant finger food if you like. This week just gone, Tracey has been earnestly bashing out dough for that old Easter favourite, hot cross buns.
So, I know that the Hanoi Cooking Centre is going to be a happening place where food will truly be celebrated. I'm also looking forward to collaborating with Tracey, Linh and the god on some unique street food tours, routed through markets and some of my compulsory eating haunts in Hanoi. But more on that later.
In the meantime, visit the centre's website...book a class. Have an espresso in their cafe.
Tell them Sticky sent you!