After spending a weekend in Shanghai several years ago I longed to return, so when I received an invitation to the Shanghai International Literary Festival, I jumped at the chance. Arriving late at night from Hong Kong I was up early for a photo shoot for Betty’s Kitchen (the linked page has a further link to the magazine's website which is in Chinese only), the top-selling food magazine in China. The editor had requested New York Cheesecake appropriately enough and only needed a portrait of me holding one since they would be doing step-by-step photos at their headquarters in Beijing. Here I am in the dining room at Char, the yet-to-open restaurant at the Indigo Hotel.
Next day I was at M on the Bund, Michelle Garnaut’s spectacular restaurant, for my literary festival appearance. I demonstrated pastry doughs from BAKE! and answered countless questions to a capacity crowd in the restaurant’s Crystal Room. Frequently rated among the top ten restaurants in Asia, M on the Bund has a sister restaurant in Beijing called Capital M. If ever you visit either place, don’t miss a chance for a great meal. Here's Michelle getting things started before the demo:
After the demo and book signing I was off to meet my friend Hosni Emam from Hong Kong and his friend Mr. Jia, part owner of the Jingan chain of 60 pastry shops in Shanghai. After a visit to one of their retail stores, we headed for the bread and pastry production facility and I caught a glimpse of the now-famous Boloniya bread being unmolded. It’s made from a dough similar to brioche, but then has more butter rolled and folded in, making it extra rich and buttery. Baked in closed tins, the dough is braided before being placed in the pan and the loaf’s braided structure is plainly visible after baking. Boloniya bread is a sensation in Japan and in Japanese bakeries in the United States; now I just have to ask Mr. Jia to share the formula. Wish me luck.
Next stop, Bangkok…