Saturday, 16 January 2016

Learning To Cook The Thai Way

At home I'm a rubbish cook. Honestly, the most advanced I go is beans on toast or something involving a poached egg and again, toast... So we thought a cooking lesson was the perfect thing to try out.

Like all the other touristy things to do in Chiang Mai, there's a shed load of advertisements and a mile long list to pick from. It's all a bit overwhelming actually. But we decided to keep it simple and looked at which Thai cookery school popped up as one of the best on Trip Advisor - that's how we found the 'Thai Orchid Cookery School'. With a long list of 5* comments it was a no brainer really. 

A quick drive there, a trip to the local market, a masterclass on how to make the dishes and 5 courses later - we were full to the brim and made up. From the minute we got there we had the best time. You put on your apron, pick 5 dishes you fancy making from a list of about 15 and begin. 

The woman who owns it and took our class, 'Ai', was amazing. The cooking area/school is attached to her own home so is away from the hustle and bustle of the cities main streets and is decorated beautifully. She was so lovely and took us through everything we needed to know as well as sitting us down before each dish and step-by-step showing us just how to make it. What was even better was that after every dish she made we got to sample it, so we were stuffed by the end! My first dish to make was spring rolls:

Considering I'm an awful chef at home, I was pretty impressed with how they turned out! I also made Thailands (and now my) favourite food 'Pad Thai', a yellow curry (another new fave), a spicy soup and the famous mango sticky rice. It was all surprisingly easy to make and tasted so so good. 

It was such an amazing experience and I'd hands down do it again. The ingredients were all freshly bought from the local market that day, and the staff working at the cookery school couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. We heard about Thai cookery schools being a popular tourist attraction before we headed out to Chiang Mai, but had no idea just how much we'd love it. I'd definitely recommend people to give it a go if you visit as it turned out to be one of the best things we've done and so much fun. I mean who doesn't like spending their whole day just pretty much eating? 

Our class cost around the 1000 baht mark (£18) but was well worth it. It included pick up and drop off, transport to and from a local market, all the food you make that day, unlimited water/tea/coffee, as well as being able to take home a laminated recipe book of all the dishes available to be made that day plus many many more. It's also a full day thing (9am-4pm) so you definitely get your money's worth.

- DO NOT EAT BREAKFAST. Yes, you're up early to be picked up and taken to the place but you eat so much amazing (and filling) food throughout the day you'll regret having that breakfast at your hotel. 
- Look around. You'll find this particular cookery school as one of the top ones on Trip Advisor, but there's also other pretty good ones. Have a nosey at a few, compare prices then decide which to go with.
- Enjoy it. It's honestly so much fun whether you can or can't cook. They really do get you involved in every single bit of it and make the most of your day!

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