There were morning, afternoon, and evening classes available. I chose the 1:00 p.m. class so it would coincide with lunch time. The teacher personally picked me up from my hotel about 30 minutes before the class started. I was the only participant.
After arriving, the teacher served me with a drink while she went and got everything ready. The school is a large open kitchen surrounded by a beautiful garden, where they got some of their ingredients from.
First, I was introduced to the ingredients used in Thai cooking. This class didn’t include a market tour, but since I was already familiar with the ingredients (they were very similar to the ones I used back home), this was not an issue to me.
To save time, all of the ingredients that I would be using had been cleaned and cut prior to my arrival. So, don’t worry if you’ve never entered a kitchen or used a knife before — you won’t have to deal with the unexciting parts of food preparation.
The teacher also demonstrated to me how to make the curry paste from scratch using the pestle and mortar, and I did get to try my hand at it. However, it was a tedious and lengthy process and would take a long time to finish, so she let me use the paste that she had pre-made for me instead.
We began with the easiest dishes. The first one was the papaya salad (som tam). This only required the mixing of the ingredients to make the dressing, and tossing it together with the julienned vegetables. The second one was the dessert of my choice: mango with sticky rice.
Next, we proceeded to the next level: cooking pad thai (fried noodles) and tom yum goong (sour and spicy prawn soup). I had never cooked with a wok before. It was a lot less forgiving than my usual non-stick pans, so I had to move fast.
In fact, everything was so fast I barely registered what I was learning. My teacher had to help me with some of the ingredients so that I wouldn’t burn the dish.
Please note that after each of these rounds, you will sit down and eat what you have prepared, so it’s wise to come with an empty stomach (or empty food containers).
Our next dishes were my favorites: green curry with chicken and stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts. This time around, I could no longer fit anything else in my stomach, so my teacher helped me pack them in small plastic bags (bring your own containers if you want to avoid plastic usage).
In total, the class took about 2 – 3 hours, including meal time. If there are more of you in the class, it might take longer than that, so do allow some extra time when planning your itinerary.
I was given a booklet of all the recipes that I learned on that day, which was a good thing, because there was no way I could have remembered everything. On the first page, there’s a cute little diploma signed by the head chef.
After a photo with my teacher, she then drove me back to my hotel.
This content was originally published here.