Last December I donated a Spanish cooking class or dinner to the Winter Charity Gala auction organized by the American Chamber of Commerce- Northeast China Chapter, the Shangri-La in Dalian and the International Club of Dalian. My dinner was bundled with a two night stay in the presidential suite. The night of the auction two good friends Karen and Martyn Brown bid for the dinner at the presidential suite and won! The money from the auction was donated to Dalian Little Dolphin Recovery Centre, Rixing Social Welfare Institution and Dalian Bai Nan Vocational School.

We finally organized the dinner and it took place on March 14th with 12 guests in attendance. The guests were Korean, Japanese, Irish, British, Indian and Chinese. We had to cater for such a varied palate that we decided to give small nods to all the guests cuisines. Karen, who is an interior designer and a great cook helped me get everything organized. She also did amazing floral arrangements to decorate the suite. The Shangri La chefs and Food and Service manager also chipped in by making some items and sourcing hard to find ingredients from Beijing and of course getting the suite ready. On the night the Shangri La also provided us with wonderful waiters and a great bartender that set up an amazing art deco mobile bar in the foyer of the Presidential Suite. The Kimchi bloody Mary was a big hit except with the Japanese husband of our Korean friend Lyn, who is still in shock at how much kimchi Koreans eat! Our lovely Chinese friend Annie made oolong tea for us.

In the end this was the menu:

Cockatils: Elderflower gin & tonic, Kimchi bloody mary, Umeshu soda


Pimenton Marcona Almonds

Quince and Manchego

Preserved lemon marinated olives

Jamon Iberico

Ajo Blanco with raisins and sherry vinegar

Gildas (olives, anchovies, piparra peppers)


Octopus with paprika and polen

Korean Bulgogi tacos

Fish pie with romesco and alioli

Togarashi fries with Curry Mayo

Goat Cheese stuffed piquillo peppers



Caramelized oranges with olive oil

Strawberry Pavlova

Chocolate and sea salt toast with olive oil

Chinese Oolong Tea


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The guests with hostess Karen Brown

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Tapas table

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Ajo Blanco

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The beautiful Annie, our tea expert

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We could not resist serving a Pavlova

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Dessert table