Cynthia Chung Aki, founder of the Golden Lotus Foundation, is on a mission to educate the community about all things Asian.
Last year, she organized Passport to Asia - an Asian Cuisine Tasting Experience, providing entry to 11 eateries serving $15 lunch specials over a two-month period. It was a lot of fun discovering new places to dine and revisiting others.
This year, instead of a dining-out experience, Aki has cooked up a plan for people to get into the kitchen and learn to make Asian dishes. She has recruited friend Mei Chung (no relation), the chef and owner of Hunan Springs Restaurant, to teach 10 Asian cooking classes from 1 to 3 p.m. on the last Sunday of each month. This will be a real treat. For $35 ($33 for GLF members), you'll get recipes, do hands-on cooking and eat the food you prepare.
If you can only take one class, consider the first one Jan. 28, a supermarket tour of Asian Pacific Market. The grocery store, at 615 Wooten Road, is like a trip to Asia without the airline ticket - even better, really, because Chung points out foods and ingredients that may be new to you. She'll talk about how to use some of these exotic foods, and there might even be tastings along the way.
Classes are limited to 12 students and must be prepaid. There are no refunds or makeup classes for unattended sessions. Students are encouraged to bring containers to pack leftovers to take home. To register, call Aki at 719-271-5050 or visit goldenlotusfoundation.org.