Taking a Thai Cooking Class is a wonderful way in which to explore the culinary delights of an exotic destination such as Thailand. And participating in a cookery class while on holiday in the kingdom has become increasingly popular. The experience will far outlast your holiday as you bring back many new flavours of the kingdom into your own kitchen. Thailand has several different schools and cooking classes that are accessible to choose and affordable on the pocket.
And the beauty of Thai food is that almost anyone can learn the art of this fine cuisine. From the very experienced to the absolute novice, a Thai cooking class will leave you hungry to learn more.
Thai food is so flavourful and coupled with a wonderful balance of both sweet and sour. And all this using an abundance of fresh ingredients. Below are four exceptional cooking schools to choose from in Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Shall we get started then.
The Blue Elephant Restaurant Cooking School is housed above the famous Blue Elephant Restaurant in a historic mansion in the centre of the bustling city of Bangkok. One of the owners of the Blue Elephant, Nooror Somany has a wealth of culinary experience and if you should have the privileged of being in his company, you'd be in excellent hands. Classes start with a visit to the local market where you'll gather a bundle of exotic ingredients to be used in your lesson.
Back at the training classroom you'll be donned with white souvenir aprons and handed a set of Thai Recipes before receiving basic instructions and the dishes of the day. After that, you'll be ushered into a state-of-art kitchen and to individual cooking stations under the watchful guide of a bevy of professional Thai chefs.
That being said, you'll hopefully cook up a storm and once that's done and dusted it will be down to some serious eating in the restaurant's famous dining room where you'll get a taste of your culinary skills. There's also a well-stocked shop of Thai cooking class souvenirs and many other goodies including an array of Thai spices.
The Blue Elephant hosts regular once-off cooking classes as well as a private professional chef programme to accommodate a mixed level of cooking ability. It's here that their Thai chefs are trained for the Blue Elephant group which has restaurants around the world.
Baipai Thai Cooking School is a truly professional operation in the suburbs of Bangkok and well worth a visit should you want to spice up your skills in Thai cooking. This cookery school is on ground level with a lovely open-air dining area upstairs. Each participant gets their own cooking unit and a head teacher will host the Thai cooking class with the help of many assistants who are on hand to assist.
There are so many people from all around the world that partake in this Thai cooking class which makes it all the more interesting. You'll probably start off with one of Thailand's most famous exports known as the Hot and Sour Prawn Soup know as Tom Yam.
Not only will you get the chance to conjure up various hot and tasty main courses but you'll also get the chance to spread your wings in the delicious dessert department with such refreshing delights as Thailand's famous coconut sticky rice with sliced mango. Way to go.
On completion of the cooking, you'll then head upstairs to enjoy the feast of your creation. And on departure, you'll be handed a framed photograph of yourself taking part in the class as well as a souvenir apron to take home plus a recipe book featuring all the recipes prepared with a small photograph of each dish. Samples here include Satay Chicken, Tom Yam, Chicken with Cashew Nuts, Coconut Sticky Rice with Sliced Peaches and then some. www.baipan.com
Pat Teingthong Cooking School is situated in Pat's home on the southern peninsula of Thailand and a great place for an informal hands-on Thai cooking class experience. The open-air cookery area is on one side of the house and pairs here share a cooking station with all the ingredients set out for each of the courses. And everyone cooking the dishes will be under the watchful eye of Pat.
You'll get to prepare up to five dishes including hot and sour shrimp soup, egg rolls, green chicken curry and Green Papaya Salad before adjourning to Pat's dining room where the food is served. Besides preparing the hot and sour shrimp soup, Pat will also show you how to use green mango, green apple and carrots when green papaya is unavailable. You'll also receive a set of recipes to take home.
Pat has a well-stocked shop of all the culinary ingredients related to Thai cuisine and everything you need for your trip back home.
As well as nestled in a beautiful landscaped tropical garden, the cookery school at the luxury Four Seasons Hotel north of Chiand Mai is housed in a magnificent open-sided building which serves as a school kitchen and sometimes as a dining room.
This cookery school is open to residents only and does not come cheap with room rates starting at around $700 a night for the Thai culinary package. A minimum stay of three nights including three courses as well a visit to a local food market and vegetable carving.
You can learn to make Chiang Mai's famous Kaow Soi Gai (curry noodle soup with chicken) and enjoy the northern Thai Khantoke dinner where guests are seated in groups of four on special cushions around small Khantoke tables.
Courses vary on each day of the week: Mondays - Spicy Salads - Tuesdays - Traditional Soup and Noodles - Wednesdays - Spa cuisine - Thursdays - The secret of Thai Curries - Fridays - Thai Appetisers and Saturdays - Chef's Recommendation.
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