Taking (Another) Thai Cooking Class in Chiang Mai
Oli and I did a cookery course in Kanchanaburi (home to the River Kwai) when we came here 2 years ago. We absolutely loved it (despite the fact that I don't really like Thai food) and our teacher, Noi, even voted our Pad Thai the best in class. Pretty special, I know. We promptly went home with a nifty cookery book full of recipes we'd mastered, and plans to head straight for our local Thai supermarket to stock up for our impending dinner party where we would confidently show off our culinary skills. Not so. Actually, the book is still nestled inbetween Rachel Khoo and Julia Childs, gathering dust. So why did we choose to do another one? Well, we were now in the Thai epicentre of cooking courses so what better way to refresh our burgeoning talent than do another course! (Plus, we knew we would kill a few birds with one stone as they feed you up so much you don't eat again for a while, saving a bit of baht).
There are literally hundreds of different courses, and Oli's scan of trip advisor showed little difference between them in terms of rating.....most were at least 4.5 stars! We essentially happened upon one, when we parked our bikes to peruse a wine shop -- The Best Wine shop. Humbly named. The owner popped out to say hello, and charmed us into booking a full day tour for a great price....800 baht (£16) for a full day, inc. market tour and free refreshments from 8.30 - 4).
There were 5 of us in total plus the instructor and we lucked out by getting to go the farm location (as opposed to the city one) which was beautiful and really relaxing. We started with a far too brief market tour, where Benni , our instructor showed us the main ingredients used in Thai food. We then hopped on a local train to Lamphun province and a short car ride to the farm.
We had already picked the courses we wanted to learn, which was nice, as Oli and I got to pick different things to make, and it also included dessert (we all picked Mango with sticky rice, yum).
That's when things got messy.....Benni expertly raced us through a starter, soup, stir fry, curry and dessert, all of which we ate along the way. We did all of this before 12.30......seriously, I've never eaten that much curry before lunch in my life, and my tummy wasn't best pleased. Needless to say, we all crashed out and enjoyed a beer in the beautiful garden before heading home to nap. It was a great course, and the wine shop comes highly recommended by us -- great (large) glass of red for 99 baht (less than £2).
In the words of Julia Childs, Bon Appetit!