I am pretty terrible at cooking.
However, Ben is a chef and in my efforts to humour him during our trip to Thailand, I figured it would be traditional to try and cook some proper local food.
So who better to learn how to cook Thai food from than a famous TV Chef? Yui, who has cooked with the likes of Gordon Ramsey and has been featured across Western and Thai television has set up her own cooking school within her home.
Unfortunately, unlike other fellow travellers who raved about Thai food, I did not hold the same love. Now this was until I had visited ‘alotofthai’ cooking school in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai.
Until I had tried real Thai food – fresh, hearty, local and spicy with lots of flavour.
A day in the life of
You are picked up in one of two classic cars, normally by Yui’s husband and taken to their home, where you have your own cooking station and your own ingredients prepared. The first dish we make is Pad Thai, probably the most popular Thai dish [& with good reason] Our next dish was Panaeng Curry. This was the best Thai curry I had. Afterward we made a Papaya Salad. For someone who doesn’t really enjoy salads as much as I should, this was surprisingly good. Salad haters do not turn away! We are taken to a local market, where Yui explained to us more about what ingredients are used – it is so fresh and so cheap. You can buy yourself some local curry pastes to make delicious red and green Thai curries after your travels.
By now you may be pretty full so have a taste and just ask for a takeaway box!
Our first dish back we make brown egg fried rice with thai herbs. And for dessert? Either mango and sticky rice or fried banana, depending on what day. Ben told me not to tell anyone he was a chef so people would think he was a natural. After a few dishes, with a few frustrations including one incident where I couldn’t chop the lime leaves finely enough, I exposed him to make me look less terrible.
…DEFINITELY did not work. 😦
It is safe to say, I will not be becoming a famous cook anytime soon.
My top 6 highlights
- She gives you her own cookery book which include the recipes that you make.
- Yui fills us with some interesting anecdotes about Gordon Ramsey & Jamie Oliver.
- We cook with ingredients she pulls from her herb pots for maximum freshness.
- She is so passionate and LOVES to stop to take pictures from her iPhone when she’s finished each dish.
- As someone with a pretty shocking memory, the most useful part of this class were the signs accompanied with each ingredient telling us how much to use. We don’t have to worry about forgetting and most importantly, it doesn’t distract us from the cooking.
- You are invited into her family home – you meet her husband, her children, get the chance to hear about her life and learn more about Thai culture.
Note: All dishes can be made for vegetarians, but not just with tofu and more tofu as Yui says.
Cost & Length
For a full day, 10am-5pm it will cost you 1500 baht.
Just want a little taste? Go for the half day starting at 10am but finishing at 2:30pm for 1200 baht.
Happy cooking! Ever been to an authentic local cooking class?