I am interested in doing a Thai course. I have been looking at the www.gourmetthailand.com course. I am glad I visited here before taking the plunge. Does anybody else have any experience or knowledge of them? I see from their web site that they havn't updated their schedule for the 2007 year. I wonder if they are still operating.
I took a gourmetthailand.course, and I don't recommend it at all. It's overpriced; the so-called 'school' is a crumbling wreck; the 'classroom' is the kitchen of an always-empty restaurant run out of someone's house. I saw the chef/owner (who has nothing to do with the school, other than that he spends a lot of time propping up the bar, answers the e-mail and pockets the cash) in the kitchen for maybe 15 minutes in the entire 5 weeks I was there. The recipes are repetitive and the whole course could be 1/2 as long without missing much.
I've attended real culinary school before, but this place is nothing of the kind. The website is, to be kind, rather misleading. When I was there, I was working on cracked cutting boards with rags as kitchen towels. Half the kitchen equipment didn't work. The chef's wife had disconnected the walk-in freezer by getting someone to remove the compressor (without asking the chef) because they couldn't afford the electricity, while the chef bought a Paco-Jet, maybe the only one in Thailand, that he didn't need and didn't use. He was so worried about it being stolen that he kept it in his office; the ever-rotating staff of illegal Burmese or Laotian (not sure, but they weren't Thai and they weren't legal so they weren't talking) workers there were energetically plundering the kitchens of anything they could steal .
At the same time, the place didn't have a functioning blender. Or food processor. Or dishwasher. The dishwasher had obviously been broken for months, if not years; despite this I was told the repair guy would be coming to fix it 'soon'.
You'll find you're the only student. I was the only student while I was there; and the student before me was the only student while he was there. He was a Cordon Bleu chef, and he thought the place was a complete fraud. If you want another opinion, PM me and I can put you in touch with him.
I know chefs that attended this place several years ago and they spoke highly of it back then (which is why I went there), but that was then and this is now. Maybe this was a real school and restaurant at some point. But the previous instructors are long gone, the place is falling apart and the chef/owner seems more interested in the next bottle of '100 Pipers' whiskey than anything to do with cooking or teaching.