An alternate but equally as descriptive title for this post could have been, “How to Gain Five Pounds in Thailand Overnight”.
Cooking School = All.The.Food.
All the delicious food of course.
Are you worried that this post is going to consist only of photos?
Although maybe it should…
There are lots of cooking schools in Thailand and I highly recommend attending one! For starters, they are CHEAP! I think we paid about $30 USD per person. This included transportation to and from your hotel, a trip to the Thai market to learn about all the ingredients, a tour of the organic farm where the cooking school is housed and many of our ingredients were grown, all day instruction in a small group and 5 courses of delicious food! To put that in perspective, a 90 minute long cooking class where I live costs about $100 plus tip.
Haley and I had a day in Chiang Mai on our own before Robert arrived so I thought a cooking class would be a fun girls activity. The Thai Farm Cooking School had excellent ratings on Trip Advisor so I booked our tickets in advance, but some of our group had signed up only days before so it isn’t necessary to book too far out.
We were picked up around 8:30 in a mini bus and chatted with our group as we made our way to the market. There were 11 of us total from all over, (Taiwan, Ireland, America) our driver and our instructor, Yummy.
Yummy was just about the cutest little androgynous human you’ve ever met.
When we arrived at the market Yummy took us to a few stalls to show us some of the ingredients we would be making and using. We learned about the different types of curry pastes, the stages of breaking down coconut, and the many varieties of rice.
After our tutorials we were given time to explore the market independently. We perused the aisles, bought a few snacks and took tons of photos.
Soon it was time to pack back into the van and head to the farm! While in route we were each given paper menus to select which dishes we wished to prepare. Each course had 2-3 options to choose from. Haley and I made sure to each pick different things so that we could try it all. Despite the rainy day, the farm was beautiful and lush green. A simple wooden building housed our cooking stations as well as a covered patio where we would enjoy the fruits of our labor.
We were outfitted with aprons and “chef hats” aka sombreros.
Now that we were dressed appropriately we were given a tour of some of the grounds by Yummy.
Yummy showed us different types of vegetation and let us smell and taste many of the veggies and herbs.
Then it was time to get cooking! Our first job was to create our own scratch made curry pastes.
After setting our pastes aside we made our first course, soup! I chose chicken and coconut milk (Tom Kaa Gai) and Haley chose Tom Yam with Shrimp. Both were absolutely delicious.
The appetizer course was next. Pad Thai for me, Spring Rolls for Haley.
Again, both winners. Our third course was our curry dish (yellow for me, red for Haley) and our fourth was stir fry (chicken with basil and chicken with cashews).
Finally, it was time for dessert! Haley made bananas and coconut milk which wasn’t particularly beautiful but tasted amazing. I made fresh mango with sticky rice. My dish ot only tasted fantastic but looked even better! The coconut milk used for the sticky rice was boiled with tiny blue flowers which gave it the most beautiful purple hue.
With our bellies full and the day getting late, we posed for a group photo with Yummy and then headed back to our respective hotels.
We went to bed full, happy and ready for Robert to arrive in the morning to help us explore Chiang Mai!