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Silk Road Cooking Class and Tour of Chinatown and Kensington

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Tour Kensington and Chinatown with Toronto's leading walking tour guide Bill Genova and then be joined by Frank Hsu Chef and Owner of BackAlley Restaurant located in Kensington to select what you will prepare during your cooking lesson and eat for lunch.


Kensington Market is a cultural microcosm of Toronto, with many ethnic groups living their unique lifestyles through foods, clothing, music and arts. Next door is Chinatown home of one of the great mother cuisines of the world. Not only do these Markets allow us to buy fresh local ingredients just-in-time, but also it is itself a crossroad of mixed food tastes reflecting the many Silk Road cuisines.

The Silk Road connected Ancient China’s capital city, Xian, to ancient Rome-a 5,000-mile journey through Central Asia and the Middle East. Not only were spices and goods exchanged between the East and West, but also religions, cultures and most important to our philosophy, Foods. The food found on the Silk Road incorporate diverse flavors and cultural blends. Recipes moved in both directions, and it was along this route that the Chinese noodles traveled to become Italian Pasta and where mezze, kebabs, flatbreads and pit roasting were omnipresent, albeit under a vast array of names.

Your four hour program will consist of a Tour of Chinatown and Kensington, then selecting fresh local ingredients just-in-time to cook, cooking lesson at Back Alley and lunch. The first hour of your tour Bill Genova one of Toronto’s leading tour guides will take you around Kensington and Chinatown explaining its history, the exoctic fruits and vegtables, Chinese Traditional Medicine, and the various communities that left their mark on Kensington. Then we will be joined by Frank Hsu Chef of Back Alley BBQ and you will choose the items that you will be cooking for lunch. You’ll learn how to assure yourself of fresh produce, fish and meat when shopping. Back to the Back Alley BBQ located in Kensington for your cooking lesson. Then Frank Hsu will cook the bought ingredients in a demonstrative style and you get to taste each couse once it is ready.


Tour begins by meeting at the north east corner of Spadina and Dundas at 10 a.m. Minimum group size is four and maximum size is twelve. Tour is on Monday, however other times and days of the week can be requested. Cost per person is $75. Cancellation 72 hours in advance. We tour rain or shine. Reservations call 416-367-0380 or email at



Check out Back Alley’s web site to get further details on cuisine possibilities.

* Link to Back Alley BBQ

Bill Genova Tour Guide, Historian and Storyteller

Frank Hsu Chef at BackAlley BBQ

Prior reservations can be made by calling 416-367-0380 or email . Reservation should be made as soon as possible since it is on a first come first serve bases. On the day of the tour reservations can be made right up to the tour's start provided you have talked to a live operator to confirm the tour.

Genova Tours
134 Sackville Street
Suite 100
Toronto, Canada, M5A 3E7