Dance to the rhythm of cooking
Sing to the wonder of life

Dance to the rhythm of cooking Sing to the wonder of life

Dance to the rhythm of cooking
Sing to the wonder of life

Highlights from Korea!

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      1. 그대와 함께 by B1A4 from Reply 1994 K-drama

Hello foodie friends! Thank you for waiting!! After very intensive 6 weeks, I’m finally back to Beijing and ready to get back to blogging regularly! 🙂

Thank you for those of you who patiently waited for my new posts.

* this song is from a very popular Korean drama – Reply 1994 which takes place in 1994 brought back lot of good memories of Seoul. Due to the popularity of this K-drama, this song along with many other 90’s hits were playing everywhere while I was in Seoul. I felt very nostalgic 🙂

For those of you who haven’t been following my daily photo updates on Instagram (@musichef_TJ) and facebook , here is a summary of what I did for the past six weeks.


1. In order to improve my baking skill and learn new pastry techniques, I went to Korea and took two very intensive courses at a very famous dessert café + baking school called Maman Gateau (means Mama’s Cakes in French). I also took some café business classes on the weekends to learn about how café/baking school operates.

Maman Gateau (Mama’s Cookie in French) Cafe and Baking Academy in Seoul

How intensive? Well the first course called the Business Basic – Artisan Cookies course and Business Special – Cakes course normally takes 8 weeks each but since my time in Korea was limited to only one month, I had to learn to make 34 kinds of cookies as well as 18 cakes in less than three weeks.

That meant, baking 6-8 kinds of cookies and cakes a day and bringing back home two full-sized shopping bags worth of sweets that can easily feed a family of five for a few days. This was a big problem for me because I didn’t have many family and friends in Korea to share them with!

cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner

So, using “Oh, I’m only tasting these cookies to become a better baker” as an excuse, more than half of those cookies ended up in my belly and naturally in the last few weeks I’ve transformed from a skinny little Asian guy into a chubby little Asian guy with double cheeks and a Buddha belly! -.-;; I’m not kidding!


2. This time being my first time to Korea in 7 years, I had to use whatever free time I had to catch up with a few old friends. I also attended two of my friends’ weddings – one super fancy, another one a classic Korean church wedding!




3. My Beijing friend Fanfan and I spent one full week in Seoul hunting, tasting and documenting Seoul’s best Korean restaurants for a Korean food guidebook we are planning to write this year. Having left Korea at age 13, I realized there were so many things I missed out on. It was so wonderful experiencing and learning more about my mother country!

touring and eating my way through the famous Guangzang Market!

yes… I’m a shameless and curious tourist too in my own country! hehe




4. Met and networked with many chefs, food researchers and professors at various culinary events! One of these events involved a lot of fried chickens and many pitchers of beer mixed with soju;; ☺

met many young and rising chefs at Korea Slow Food event!




5. Visited Taipei with friends for a little foodie vacation! Had one of the most memorable Japanese seafood dinners of my life. Gained another 2kgs here… I desperately need to exercise regularly! I also went to meet one of my role models, chef Masa at his cookbook launching event at Eslite bookstore (诚品书店) !


baking and icing Korean style pumpkin tart

That kind of sums up the first two months of my foodie life in 2014. In the next few weeks, I will share with you what I have learned at Maman Gateau baking school as well as my travel stories and restaurant recommendations in Korea and Taiwan! Stay tuned!


In the meantime, you can see daily updates on my Instagram @Musichef_TJ and and facebook .

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