Culinary Tour Itinerary
The Imperial Way

For some nations, dining isn't just about nourishment. It's a reason for living. France and Italy spring to mind. So does China.

With the help of world-renowned food writer Fuchsia Dunlop, our culinary tour introduces you to the rich tradition of Chinese cuisine. You will be taken to the capitals of the four regions of Chinese cuisine and take lessons with some of the country's greatest chefs.

Price And Departure Dates

Culinary Highlights include (in chronological order) :

  • Peking Duck Banquet at the China Club, Beijing
  • Introductory lecture on Chinese cuisine from renowned food author Fuchsia Dunlop
  • Demonstration of Northern Cuisine from Executive Chef at Made In China, Beijing
  • Lecture on Sichuanese xiaochi or Tea House Food, Chengdu
  • Participatory Lessons at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine , Chengdu
  • Demonstration of Shanghainese Cuisine from Whampoa Restaurant Star Chef, Jereme Leung
  • Visit to tea and food markets at Chengdu and Shanghai, accompanied by experts
  • Participatory Lessons at the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute of Hong Kong

Temple of Heaven

Day One - Beijing
Depart from home city.


Day Two - Beijing
Departing your home city on Friday, you will cross the international dateline arriving in Beijing late on Saturday. (Grand Hyatt Hotel Hotel - Grand Deluxe Room)


Day Three - Beijing
Your first morning's activities in China contrast colossal monuments of the past and present. After strolling across Beijing's Tiananmen Square, an authoritative symbol of today's China, you will be awed by the majesty of its enormous 500 year old Imperial Palace (to which in times gone by you would have been denied access). In the afternoon, we take you to one of China's most sacred sites, the Temple of
Heaven , used by the Emperor as a place to mediate affairs between God and man. For dinner this evening we provide a Peking Banquet at the members-only China Club, located inside set in the exclusive China Club. (B, L, D)


Day Four - Beijing Great Wall of China
Today, you will visit the emblematic Great Wall of China. In places, over 2,500 years old, this daunting fortification protected China from the murderous incursions of the savage Northern tribes. While sipping cocktails on the Wall, we will be treated to a lecture by Fuchsia Dunlop , author of Sichuanese Cooking , and the only Westerner to have graduated from the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine . She will introduce Chinese cuisine, describing the characteristics of the four regional schools as well as basic cookery techniques and ingredients. Cocktails will be followed by a banquet dinner on the Great Wall . (B, L, D)


Day Five - Beijing
This morning you will attend a cooking demonstration at the Grand Hyatt's "Made In China" Restaurant. The food here will focus on northern Chinese cuisine and the restaurant's Executive Chef, Jack Aw Yong, will guide you through the most important elements of this delicious regional cuisine.

In the afternoon, we take a tour of the delightful Summer Palace, a retreat once enjoyed exclusively by the Empress Dowager Cixi; its ornate temples, pavilions and covered corridors, set amidst a vast, man-made landscape, epitomize both the decadence and refinement of this infamous matriarch. This evening's dinner, your last in Beijing, will leave you with a wonderful last memory of this "Northern Capital". (B, L, D)


Day Six - Chengdu Sichuan Hot pot
This morning you will have some free time in Beijing to take in some of the city's fabulous shopping.

In the afternoon we fly to Chengdu , where dinner will be served at one of the city's most renowned restaurants. Dishes will include perennial Sichuanese favorites such as Lazi Ji (chicken in a mount of chillies) as well as some of the local chefs' more innovative Sichuanese dishes. (Kempinski Hotel - Deluxe Room) (B, L, D)


Day Seven - Chengdu
This morning we're off to school, attending a day of cooking lessons at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine where leading Chinese chefs will supervise your participation in preparing Sichuan cuisine's most popular dishes. Throughout, Fuchsia Dunlop will provide background information on the various ingredients and cooking techniques, after which she will demonstrate how these dishes can be adapted for the Western home. And for dinner you will sample Sichuan hotpot at a wonderfully aesthetic restaurant. (B, L, D)


Day Eight - Chengdu
This morning Fuchsia will guide us through the exotic variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and spices at Chengdu's food markets. For lunch,we will feast on delicious Sichuan "xiaochi" delicacies. These are comprised of an assortment of dishes ranging from meat and seafood, to preserved vegetables to hand made noodles. Each dish is brought out on a small individual plate, allowing you to sample a wide variety of flavors. Throughout our fascinating and delicious meal, Fuchsia Dunlop will introduce the history & folklore of each dish.

Later in the day a flight takes us from Chengdu to Shanghai. This waterside city, last century considered to be the most Western of China's cities, now should be thought of as its most futuristic. In the evening we will dine in a chic Shanghainese restaurant. ( Grand Hyatt Hotel - Grand Bund View Room) (B, L, D)


Day Nine - Shanghai Shanghai Museum
This morning we will be introduced to the subtle and natural flavors of Eastern cuisine. Your introductions to Shanghainese food will be given by none other than Shanghai's hottest chef, Jereme Leung. Owner of the Whampoa Club, JJereme has been heraloded as one of the region's best new chefs. Lunch will be followed by a Chinese tea ceremony and a visit to a tea market, all led by Jereme himself.

The day continues with a visit to Shanghai Museum, the best in the country. Its well-conceived displays elucidate all aspects of Chinese art history from ceramics to jades to furniture to seals to paintings. Dinner tonight will be served at Sens & Bund, the newest restaurant of Michelin 3-star chefs, the Pourcel twins. (B, L, D)


Day Ten - Hong KongHong Kong's Central District
This morning we fly to Hong Kong , one of Asia's most dynamic cities - a great melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures, combining the relentless mercantilism of the Cantonese with the reassuring know-how of formerly colonial powers.

After a delectable Cantonese dim sum lunch, we will visit the acme of Hong Kong's high society. Literally. Victoria Peak, towering over the city, was valued in colonial times, before the advent of air-conditioning, for its cooling breezes. Stunning views of the sea and surrounding islands as well as its proximity to the financial center have preserved its residential exclusivity. We will use the Victoria Tram to ascend the Peak, where after visiting the observation center, we will take a short walk to enjoy surreal vistas of aluminum and glass skyscrapers juxtaposed with the sea and jungle. (Four Seasons Hotel - Deluxe Harbor View Room) (B, L, D)


Day Eleven - Hong Kong
Our last set of cooking lessons focuses on China's best-known cuisine, Cantonese food. You will spend a day at the state-of-the-art Chinese Cuisine Training Institute of Hong Kong , where the city's top chefs are trained. Morning instruction in dimsum dishes will be followed in the afternoon with lessons in making other delectable Cantonese favorites. A sampling lunch will be provided in the Institute's Sky Lounge which is also home to the members-only Hong Kong Dining Society. Your farewell dinner tonight will prove to be a gourmet's delight, featuring some of the most delectable dishes of the region! (B, L, D)


Day Twelve - Hong Kong
You will be transferred to the airport in time for your international flight. (B)


Summary And Price

The price is US$7,730 per person (US$1,150 surcharge for single occupancy)
Included in the tour price are:
Cantonese Dim Sum

  • Introductory lecture on Chinese cuisine
  • Five cooking lessons / demonstrations
  • 10 nights accommodation in outstanding five star hotels
  • All meals at our carefully selected restaurants, as listed on the itinerary
  • Privately catered dining events, as listed in the itinerary
  • All domestic flights in economy seats (Beijing/Chengdu, Chengdu/Shanghai, Shanghai/Hong Kong)
  • All land transportation
  • Entrance fees to all tourist sites, as described in the itinerary
  • Baggage handling, guide and driver gratuities, hotel and domestic airport taxes
  • Services of a bilingual Western China Host and English-speaking tour guides
  • Tour group limited to 20 people

Not included in the tour price are:

  • International airfare to China, visa processing fees and travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages, excess luggage fees, telephone charges, room service and laundry charges
  • Gratuities to the China Host

NB Minimum group size is 8 passengers.

Margot Kong, based in San Francisco, is ready to answer your queries about this tour. Phone her at 888 888 1970, or click here to send her an email.

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Imperial Tours, 511 W Orange Grove Ave., Sierra Madre, CA 91024 United States, Tel: +1 626 836 7270, EMAIL