Your kale has wilted; your teacup poodle has lost its beret; your loo paper is short a ply or two … These are just some of the ordeals faced by Hongkongers today. Luckily, another of our city's particularly first-world problems is now being addressed.
The Help for Your Helper course is aimed at inspiring domestic helpers to "really own the kitchen experience", says Nathan Fleck, founder of cooking school Spatu.La, which launched the course this month.
On top of the 14 dishes taught, the month-long programme is designed to teach helpers knife skills and maintenance, food storage rules, zero wastage tricks, cooking terminology, about wine pairings, how to adapt meals for diet preferences, how to cope with extra guests and how to mix up the menu.
"A recipe book can be intimidating and lends an academic feel to making a meal," says Fleck. "My aim is to trim away this rigid approach and encourage the flexible, confident and fun chef in all of us."
Each weekly class will teach students how to prepare three or four dishes from a national cuisine, starting with American staples baby back pork ribs - but with a Hong Kong twist (marmalade and ginger) - Cobb salad and soft pretzels. The course wraps up with Mexican food, including ale-battered fish tacos with home-made tortillas and lemon dill mayo, lime and avocado.
If it's Italian you're hankering after, expect to one day have presented at your table dishes such as handmade meatballs, herb-crusted chicken tenders and garlic lemon salad. British cuisine is also covered, with stuffed roast chicken and apple crumble.
The Help for Your Helper course costs HK$3,200, with an introductory lesson held in Casa restaurant, in Sai Kung, and all subsequent classes in a fully equipped kitchen in Hang Hau Space, behind Tseung Kwan O Hospital. All students will receive a Spatu.La apron, an eco bag and a personalised cookbook.