Chef Zhang is behind the main wok and teaches many classes at Black Sesame Kitchen. In 2012 Chef Zhang travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he served as a guest chef for celebrity chef Jose Andreas’ China Poblano in The Cosmopolitan. Before coming to the kitchen, Chef Zhang ran his own noodle shop and worked at the Chinese banquet restaurant Yushan in Beijing. Though noodles are Chef Zhang’s specialty, he has a broad knowledge of Chinese cooking techniques ranging from Sichuanese to Imperial Beijing cuisine. He is from Shanxi province and was featured Jen Lin-Liu’s memoir Serve the People as the noodle master.
Chairman Wang teaches and cooks at Black Sesame Kitchen. She is a native Beijinger and has been a cooking teacher for 15 years. In 2012, she served as a guest chef at Sarong, one of the top restaurants in Bali, Indonesia, in addition to participating in many culinary exhibitions around Beijing. Before coming to the kitchen, she was the chairman of a professional cookery school in Beijing. Her specialties are dumplings, homestyle cooking, and noodles. She is featured in Jen Lin-Liu’s memoir Serve the People as Jen Lin-Liu’s original cooking teacher.
Wang Kai is an assistant chef at Black Sesame Kitchen. She is from Shaanxi province and has lived in Beijing for 5 years. She pickles her own vegetables in the kitchen; if you ask nicely, she will give you a sample.
Michelle Tang is the general manager of Black Sesame Kitchen. She is a native of New Zealand, with ancestry from southern China. She’s lived in Beijing for more than a decade and has extensive business experience extending over a variety of industries and has in the past year worked with Black Sesame Kitchen. In addition to managing Black Sesame Kitchen, you may find her teaching cooking classes, working in the kitchen experimenting with recipes or various Black Sesame Kitchen projects including a cook book for Black Sesame Kitchen. Otherwise, being a foodie you can find her wandering around Beijing or the rest of the world searching for the perfect meal. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coco Yue hosts events and translates for the chefs at Black Sesame Kitchen. She is originally from a remote village in Hebei province. In Coco’s spare time she likes to window shop around the streets near Black Sesame Kitchen in Nan Luo Guo Xiang and the Drum Tower. You’re likely to meet bubbly Coco during our Wine and Dine events.
Candice Lee teaches at Black Sesame Kitchen, in addition to hosting events. She hails from the North Shore of Boston and graduated Fordham University. She has made television appearances as a cooking instructor and Chinese food consultant on MSNBC, BON Live, Lonely Planet TV’s Best of China, BBC World and Discovery Asia. She has been part of the Black Sesame Kitchen family since early 2009.
Ben Manthey hosts events and translates for the chefs at Black Sesame Kitchen. When not in the kitchen, he’s scouring the city for new and unexplored restaurants. Also, Ben recently finished up a teaching fellowship with Princeton in Asia and has since traded his chalkboard for a job in “GuoMao,” Beijing’s business hub. Ben hails from Texas and knows the value of a good chili pepper, especially in his favorite of Chinese cuisines: Sichuan style. He has been with the Kitchen since autumn 2009.
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3 Heizhima Hutong (inside Nanluoguxiang), Dongcheng District, Beijing, China 100009