Ah cooking classes! One of our favourite things to do in any new country we visit. They provide a great insight into the local culture, let you meet some fantastic people and are always full of good food! On our recent trip to Thailand we were graciously hosted by Thai Secret Cooking School and had one of our best experiences yet!
The day started with the usual early morning pick up from the hostel. We got to meet our group which consisted of some awesome people. One thing that Thai Secret Cooking School does differently than the other handful of classes we’ve attended is letting you choose your own menu for the day (within a small number of choices), and teaching you about the ingredients you’ll be using at a local market. And that’s where our first stop was! Our guide, May, greeted us and walked us around a local market, explaining the different types of greens and spices used in Thai cooking while purchasing some of the ingredients right in front of us! We thought this was a nice touch of transparency and authenticity.
Once all of the food was bought, we packed up and headed for the cooking class venue. It was actually May’s home, a cute little country house backing onto gorgeous rice fields. We instantly felt at ease and welcomed by our picturesque surroundings.
When we arrived, the stations were all set up and ready to go. But first, TO THE GARDEN! May had purposefully left out a few ingredients from her preparations so that we would get the experience of picking them ourselves from her organic home garden. It was definitely a highlight of the day!
After picking our herbs we began cooking, with our first meal of the day being coconut soup. The ingredients for each dish all came prepared in advance at our stations and we followed May’s instructions while dicing, chopping and seasoning as the coconut milk was heating up. During this time we also prepared ingredients for some delicious home-made pad thai and cashew chicken (multitasking at its best!). Once the first few dishes were made, we took a break and tasted our creations.
They. Were. Amazing.
We couldn’t wait to taste what else we were going to make!
Next up were spring rolls for Jordon and papaya salad for Katherine. Jordon got to roll and fry them up while Katherine mixed her salad. They were probably some of the best appetizers we’ve ever had (go us!).
Our second main dish was curry, and we got to choose between red, green or yellow flavours. Katherine went with spicy green while Jordon chose flavourful yellow. We got to pound out the curry ourselves the old-fashioned way with a mortar and pestle (and probably grew a few muscles in the process). The curry came with some tender chicken we cooked and a side of rice. This was probably Jordon’s favourite part of the class while Katherine had her sights set on dessert!
Last but not least, mango sticky rice (woooooo! *happy dance*). The traditional Thai dessert is quite common but never has it tasted and looked so good! May taught us a family trick that uses fresh flowers to dye the rice used in the dish to really add a whole different look to it.
We also got to shave our very own coconut for some fresh coconut milk, and before you ask, yes we did it by hand, and yes it was worth it! The canned stuff really isn’t as good anymore once you’ve had the fresh stuff.
This was by far the best way to end the day, because I don’t think we could eat anymore!
Our entire experience at Thai Secret Cooking School was amazing. The local market touch, the hands on contribution to our own dishes, the beautiful location, our helpful (and also hilarious) guide May, and some of the best food in Thailand…and not just because we cooked it 😉
Have you ever done a cooking class while travelling?
Which has been your favourite so far? Which would you like to try next?
We’d like to thank Thai Secret Cooking School for generously sponsoring our experience in exchange for this review. As with all articles, you can be assured you are getting our honest opinions.
Like it? Pin it!
Never miss an update – sign up to our newsletter!
Bonus: You’ll even get a free copy of our printable His & Hers Carry-On Essentials Packing List!