What's Cooking in...

China. Secrets of The Peninsula Shanghai’s stir-fried duck breast dish
Sweet Shrimp Kelaguen as served at the Hyatt Regency in Saipan.
Preparing a variety of the local dish kelaguen
Violeta putting the finishing touch on the baklava. Photo: Sandra Scott

My 93-year-old mother, who loves to cook, often says, “Nothing I make tastes like what my mother used to make.” She complains, “Today tomatoes are unblemished and red, but they have no flavor. Nothing tastes like it used to when it was home grown the old-fashioned way without fancy fertilizers and chemicals.”

I agree with her but didn’t realize how much our ingredients had changed in flavor until I visited Albania. The Albanian government’s isolationist policy kept it a rural country...


Even though Hong Kong is one of the world’s most modern and expensive cities, there are ways to learn about the traditional Chinese culture for free or nearly free. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) offers a variety of free or nearly free programs for visitors.

When my husband, John, and I deplane in Hong Kong, we stop at one of the HKTB Visitor Centres to sign up for their programs. The visitor centers are located in Buffer Halls A and B, Arrivals Level, Terminal 1. Visitors...

Sarah basting the loin of bacon.

When my husband, John, and I were in Roscommon, Ireland, in June 2011, we contacted Sarah Browne (Antogher Rd., Roscommon, Co. Roscommon; phone 0879439446) to set up a cooking experience featuring Irish food.

She offers a variety of cooking classes, ranging in cost from $43 to $157. Though there were no classes scheduled on the days we were in the area, she kindly offered to prepare a traditional Irish meal with us for the cost of the ingredients.

I had always considered...


by Sandra Scott

Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. For me, the image of Borneo was one of wild jungles with unique wildlife and people still living in a very primitive manner.

When my husband, John, and I visited in January 2011, I found Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, to be a lovely, modern city. Outside the city it is possible to observe orangutans in the wild, but most of them are rescued ones that stay close to the reserve even though they...


by Sandra Scott

In Thailand, at the mere mention of the name Chef Yingsak, people break into a smile. The flamboyant chef, owner of the Thai & International Food Academy (1004 Rama III Road, Bangpongpang, Yannawa, Bangkok, 10120, Thailand; phone +66 [0] 2682-7644, e-mail center@yingsakfood.com), is the best-known chef in Thailand and hosts his own TV cooking show.

Friends in Thailand had recommended Chef Yingsak’s school, so when my husband, John, and I were in Thailand in...


by Sandra Scott

When my husband, John, and I were in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, in 2008, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza (Blvd. Morazan 11 Ave. 1 Calle, San Pedro Sula; toll-free 877/227-6963).

At breakfast, the chef was checking the selections in the buffet. He asked me if everything was okay and I told him, “I enjoyed the Honduran items.”

“Did you try the pupusas?” he asked.

I responded, “They were delicious. I never had them before.”

The stars must have...