I’ve found myself in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a three week conference. With my husband’s new job comes a short course learning about how to live in a different culture, balance work and family, deal with expectations, conflict resolution and a host of other useful topics.
One thing I had determined to do was a Thai cooking course. The deal I found? $30 (1000 baht) for pick up and drop off at your hotel, a tour of a local market, cook 6 different dishes of your choice at an organic farm in the country side, tour of the farm and a cookbook. The distance the dollar goes here is unreal. It was amazing value for an amazing day.
Here’s my day in pictures…Pick up from hotel. I arrived at their city centre where I met the other students and chose items from the menu. There were 6 different courses and we were able to chose 1 dish each from each course. They were also too happy to accommodate my vegetarian requirement. Next was a trip to a market in town. During this time Fong told us about popular ingredients in Thai cooking, how they are made and why you would buy certain ingredients over others. We had a few minutes to walk around the market and take photos before hoping back inside the van for the 20 minute ride to the farm. Fong was our lovely host, driver and instructor. Here she is explaining different types of noodles. This one she explained feels like an alien. The yellow tofu is coloured using turmeric. It’s not for the flavour, just for looks. As soon as we arrived at the farm everyone was in love with the peaceful, natural and simply furnished place. We walked past some bamboo hammocks which were enjoyed later, to an open air shelter that was set up for a place to eat, prepared the ingredients and cook the food. Fong then gave us all hats to wear and we started our tour of the farm. We walked along a cute path and stopped in some shade as Fong told us about the ingredients she had in her basket. Most of the ingredients I already knew of, but I now know what fresh ginseng looks like (also know as Root Fingers). For the first time I was able to see what rice looked like close up. Much like wheat really, it just grows in water. After the tour we started the cooking course. All of the dishes started with preparation, then cooking on the wok, and then eating.
The flavours were incredible. I can’t recommend this course highly enough. Common comments among the group was that it was so quick, easy and obviously delicious (I’ll add extremely delicious). To top of the day we were given an well illustrated recipe book full of all the recipes, photos and the story of sisters Gay and Moon who started the school (with no rich millionaire boyfriend to help).
I highly recommend this course! You will come away with a repertoire of Thai recipes to impress your family and friends with, and the confidence to cook it to perfection.Links for Asia Scenic (Chiang Mai, Thailand): Facebook/ Asia Scenic Cooking School Website/ www.asiascenic.com