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Thailand Cooking Schools


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  • 1 month later...
I haven't attended any others schools in Thailand. A cook friend of mine just enrolled in the 'master classes' at this place: http://www.thaicookeryschool.com/ but he hasn't started there yet. If you p.m. me in a couple of weeks I can tell you how that went for him.

I can attest that this school in Chiang Mai is excellent. I've recommended it for a friend who is going there in a couple weeks. I took the standard classes because I was with a friend who is a novice cook. And even for me, an intermediate/advanced cook, the classes were still fun and useful. I did the curry class and the market class. Each person had their own station. You first get a demonstration of the dishes in a classroom, then you go out and make the dish. Works great. The teachers are knowledgeable and helpful, even those other than the main guy, Sompon. Their routine is a little practiced and you'll hear some of the same jokes over and over, but you get the sense they're enjoying teaching you. On top of all this, it's cheaper than any of the classes I've been able to find in Bangkok. It'd be cheaper to fly to Chiang Mai and take a class than it would be to just take a class in Bangkok, from what I can tell. The master class is more expensive, however. But from what I saw, the classes are much smaller and more intimate.

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I also went to the Chiang Mai Cookery School, and I didn't really care for it. It was several years ago, but while I thought the teaching was OK, I didn't care for the food. Granted, the recipes are starting points, and you can adjust as you see fit, but the starting points they give are, in my opinion, definitely geared towards farang tastes. And I vaguely remember asking a more detailed question or two, and not getting satisfactory answers. That may have been more because of language differences rather than lack of knowledge, but I'll never know.

I had also wanted to create my own class (like a Master Class, but with dishes of my own choosing) and it wasn't possible. I think maybe the dishes I wanted to learn weren't in their repertoire.

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Perhaps they've gotten better, because I was the annoying student constantly asking questions and for the most part they got answered. I will admit that Sompon, the owner, was less patient than his assistants. But Sompon only taught a couple dishes. And the English language skills of all the teachers were really good. Head and shoulders above 90% of any other Thais in Chiang Mai (and better than most Thais in restaurants here in Portland).

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  • 11 months later...

From reading this topic and a couple dozen online and print resources, I would surmise that the vast majority of Thai cooking programs are geared toward farangs who want to be able to say that they took a course and can now make pad thai and "curry." Since I live in a community with many expansive SEAsian markets and have been able to learn Thai cooking from a number of solid cookbook sources (most notably David Thompson's Thai Food), I don't really need to have the world of lemon grass, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, and fermented shrimp revealed to my wonderment.

So I ask: does anyone know of more advanced courses in the Bangkok or Chiang Mai areas for someone who's got a pretty good grasp of the fundamentals of Asian and the basics of Thai cuisines? Ideally, we'd be talking about a teacher/guide who'd gladly take a grateful payment for an individualized afternoon of market shopping, prep, and cooking that focused on a regional cuisine. Hell, I'd do a stage in a street food stall.

Ideas? Thoughts?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 3 weeks later...
From reading this topic and a couple dozen online and print resources, I would surmise that the vast majority of Thai cooking programs are geared toward farangs who want to be able to say that they took a course and can now make pad thai and "curry." Since I live in a community with many expansive SEAsian markets and have been able to learn Thai cooking from a number of solid cookbook sources (most notably David Thompson's Thai Food), I don't really need to have the world of lemon grass, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, and fermented shrimp revealed to my wonderment.

So I ask: does anyone know of more advanced courses in the Bangkok or Chiang Mai areas for someone who's got a pretty good grasp of the fundamentals of Asian and the basics of Thai cuisines? Ideally, we'd be talking about a teacher/guide who'd gladly take a grateful payment for an individualized afternoon of market shopping, prep, and cooking that focused on a regional cuisine. Hell, I'd do a stage in a street food stall.

Ideas? Thoughts?

One of my friends here at work arranged for a personal class at the Blue Elephant, and worked with them in advance to tailor the program to his needs. He was satisfied with the results.

Second hand advice, I'm afraid, but I'd agree with you that the bulk of cooking schools are servicing more of the casual tourist approach ("trophy cooking") than serious learning for the intermediate student.

What will be interesting is if Le Cordon Bleu gets a programme of Thai workshops going (I still need to write up the CB bit.....)

Cheers,

Peter

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I remember reading someone's account of going to a (small) restaurant a few times, becoming friendly with the cook, and then being allowed to cook with them. I can't remember if that was here on eGullet or elsewhere, but if you want something less tourist-oriented, that could be one way to get it (though it may take a little long).

If your hotel has a kitchen, you could always bring up the idea with them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

kanjana should be willing to teach you anything you want... though i still recommend going over and seeing what you like. i was there over 5 years ago now (ack!), here's a post from, uh, 2.5 years ago which matches my experiences.

here's a picture from a neat mapping service, they have pictures of many of the streets in chiang mai: http://www.mapjack.com/?DkZyUKvdacBGDDAA

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
has anyone had any experience with the samui institute of thai culinary arts?

http://www.sitca.net

planning to attend their 12-day professional course and would appreciate hearing about what others have to say about this school.

thanks.

Hi debbster,

Have you attended this course yet? If you have, could you share your impressions? Thanks.....

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  • 4 weeks later...

I didn't end up attending a cooking course at all in Thailand, but episure's approach seems like the smartest if I were to go back. There were three places (Dr. Noodle and Good View in CM, plus an outdoor place in Hua Hin) that I would have been thrilled to spend a few hours at, and judging from the smiles and invitations I got simply from watching attentively and asking questions, I would have had no problems arranging a slightly more formal encounter.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 11 months later...

We're going to Phuket in November this year.

When in tropical climes I find I can stand only so much of lying by pool before going stir crazy.

Has anyone had any experience of cooking classes in Phuket? What has your experience been?

Coming from Australia I have a reasonable experience with cooking Thai food, looking for someone who can teach some in-depth techniques.

Thanks for your input.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I did a cooking lesson in Phuket about six years ago - at Pum' Restaurant. When I went, she was just starting out, and we were able to design our own full-day class, where we did what I wanted to do. Now it looks like they have a more formal system of morning/afternoon classes - and they're probably just for beginners as well. But the owner was friendly and helpful - it would be worth going in and having a chat, anyway, and see if they couldn't work something out for you.

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