We were collected after breakfast, about 9.00am to go to the Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre – 1st Cookery School in Chiang Mai (Established 1995). We arrived at the traditional teak wood house owned by Tuk Tub Tim and his family who share their family recipe secrets (www.thaikitchencentre.com) in a totally hands on course.
They offer one, two, three and half day tours…either in a group or privately….we were booked into the full day course. This allowed us to selected 6 different dishes (from 26 choices over 6 categories – Curry Paste, Curry, Stir Fried, Soup, Appetiser, Dessert). Vince chose the following: Namprik Gaengkieow Wan (Green Curry Paste), Kieow Wan (Green Curry with Chicken), Pad Thai (Fried Noodles Thai Style), Tom Yum Goong (Prawn & Coconut Milk Soup), Po Piet (Original Spring Roll) and Kao Neow Mamuang (Sticky Rice with Mango). It was a bargain at 1000 THB for Vince as the participant and 200THB for me as the observer (due to my current chicken-wing status!).
We were given some welcome tea and dried banana whilst we looked through the choices and gave our selections to the staff Kaew, JJ and Art. We were then given an embroidered apron and basket to go to the local market. We were back into the silver truck to go to the Sompet Market and Kaew went over a range of herbs, spices and vegetables we would be using and let us sample them….it was extremely interesting and informative. We even learned that fresh turmeric can be used on mozzie bites for relief – we got some for Vince who has been savaged by them lately and his legs are covered in bites! We were also shown how they get coconut cream, coconut milk and coconut sugar….quite fascinating and delicious! We were then given around 10 min to explore the markets on our own and the various stalls held all sorts of interesting things for sale. When we returned to the first stall our baskets were already filled with ingredients for us.
Back at the Teak House we started with the curry paste in a mortar and pestle…. that would be used in the Kieow Wan later. Next was moving to the individual cooking station and making Tom Yum Goong ….surprisingly simple and exquisitely delicious! The Kieow Wan was next, closely followed by the Pad Thai. The Kieow Wan was out of this world…..Vince has always made a wicked Thai Green Chicken Curry at home….but this was mind blowing and totally from scratch (we buy the paste etc back home). We all ate in the air-conditioned Chiang Mai style room, sitting on cushions at low tables. Over the course of the morning we met some interesting people, including Maria (paediatrician) and her husband, whose name I am unsure of (Engineer) from Poland, Lisa (Yoga/Thai Massage Therapist) from America, Kaitlin (Physio) and Kayleigh (Nurse) from Canada, Mojo from Turkey….along with two older ladies from Switzerland and Canada, a young couple from Germany and another couple from Turkey. Some of the group (the maroon aprons) left after lunch….and there were just 4 of us blue aprons left, Lisa, Mojo, Vince and myself. We proceeded to make our appetisers and desserts……I was impressed at how easy spring rolls are to make and Sticky Rice is a little complicated with pre soaking required overnight, but otherwise a delicious and filling concoction. We were so stuffed we took some doggie bags back to our hotel for the boys (Aad (Art) and Mike) and Lisa wanted to come and meet Mike at Aad (Art) as she was pretty impressed with what we shared with her about their adventures and Mike’s World Record.
Dinner back at our hotel was pizza…..not that we were hungry…… it has been a day of culinary delights!