We are both lovers of eating good food and trying new flavours! Thai food is definitely hard to beat when it comes to flavour and unique texture.
Having eaten plenty of good curries, fried rice and noodle dishes over a 3 month period of travelling through Thailand, we thought we should get our hands dirty and put some of these world famous dishes together ourselves.
Chatting to locals at our guesthouse in Chaing Mai about cooking schools in the local area, we were recommend- Thai Orchid Cookery School ran by a family at their home in the old city.
We booked a place on an all day cooking class and were picked up from our guesthouse at 8am along with a couple from Australia who were also travelling around South East Asia.
The facilities at the cooking school were amazing, there was an individual cooking station for everyone with a preparation area, gas fired stove to use a wok, utensils that we didn’t even know existed and a class room where the instructor demonstrated the process of preparing individual dishes.
We had the choice of 12 different dishes and could choose 4 each from a soup, a starter, a main and then a dessert. So logically thinking we chose different dishes to each other and got to work with our soups.
They went down really well but we both preffered the creamy hot and sour prawn soup to the clear soup that seemed to be quite harsh on the throat.
The exciting bit was making spring rolls! It was so much fun learning the rolling technique and better yet, they were the best spring rolls we have ever tried. Something we were really chuffed about.
The instructors then loaded us all in a minivan and took us to the market where we were shown a ton of tropical fruits and vegetables along with meat that most people would turn their nose to in the western world. It was so interesting to learn about what the Thai people like to eat and how they eat it.
Consider eating a Panang curry with 2 chillis in, that you find relatively hot and makes you sweat. Well the family who owned Thai Orchid Cookery School put in 5 chillis and eat it comfortably without breaking in to a sweat. Unreal!
Anyway our Phad Thai with shrimp was really good, although not as good as some we have eaten on the street, street food is the best and we find it difficult to beat even when we go to some expensive restaurants.
We sat down with our group around a big table and enjoyed the dishes we had all made and spoke about our journeys, had some time to relax, eat and make new friends. The majority of us were really pleased with what we had all produced.
But a day of food would not be complete without something sweet! We had a choice of dessert and opted for the thai pancake as well as mango sticky rice! Thai pancake is like a drug! Once you try your first thai pancake from a street vendor, your hooked! Especially when they are smothered with Nutella. But in this case it was pancake with banana.
For what we believe was a relatively cheap day of about £50 for both of us, we were also given a recipe book of all the dishes that were available for us to make and a load more recipes of curry pastes, noodles, papaya salad. The lot!
If you are looking for somewhere to satisfy your taste buds and get tucked in to some amazing Thai foods then we really recommend checking out, Thai Orchid Cookery School in Chiang Mai.
By Alan Bogle.