Celebrity Chef, Cooking School, Laidback Town
Chiang Mai Travel Blog› entry 18 of 68 › view all entries
July 19th, 2009 – by: ronin2k
Talk about laid back, the â€śhostelâ€ť I was staying at was more like a 5-star resort, set on a few acres of jungle, complete with a huge swimming pool! Every time I was with others and I got dropped off or picked up people would ask how much I was paying for a place like this. $15 bucks! Yep. It would have been $10, but I figured Iâ€™d â€śsplurgeâ€ť and pay the extra $5 bucks a nite to have the room to myself.
I came to Chiang Mai to do two things, go to cooking school and to visit the longneck tribes north of the city.
The Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School is run by Celebrity Chef, Sompon Nabnian, Thailandâ€™s own Jamie Oliver if you will. 5 different lessons are offered and repeat every 5 days, I decided to take 3 out of the 5 days. Lucky for me, 2 of those 3 days we had Sompon teach us his recipes from pad thai to actually making curry paste from scratch! Everyday was fun and when I left at the end of each day, I was so full from eating, that I usually didnâ€™t eat till late at night again!
Each day involved the preparation of 6 courses! With a seminar to start off each day. The first day I learnt how to do vegetable decorations, next day Thai ingredients, and last day we learnt how to make our own Thai curry paste with a mortar and pestle.
Spending three days there, the one thing I realized about Thai cooking was how easy it is to make! The hardest thing about Thai cooking really is getting all the ingredients in order, chopped up and ready to go. The actually cooking part doesnâ€™t take more than 5 minutes!
Here are some of the dishes I made:
-Fried Noodles (Phad Thai)
-Green Curry with Chicken (Gaeng Kheo Wan Gai)
-Panaeng Curry with Pork (Panaeng Muu) - my favourite Thai curry from scratch!
-Fried Fish with Chili and Basil (Plaa Nin Laad Prik Bai Horapa)
The list goes on and on! And all delicious I must say!
As I said Thai cooking is very easy and many of the recipes call for the same ingredients: fish sauce, oyster sauce, soya sauce, basil (3 different types), coconut cream and coconut milk.
During my three days at the cooking school, not only did I enjoy cooking I enjoyed the company I had while there. Each day I met a different set of travellers from around the world. We all had in common the love of Thai food, so it was easy to relate to everyone. In fact, I met some American teachers the first day who I ended up going to visit the longneck tribes in the north later in my visit to Chiang Mai.
Overall, if you ever go to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I highly highly suggest you sign up for at least one course with Sompon. Even if you can only take one lesson, they give you a recipe book with the recipes for all 5 courses! Now the real test will be to come back home and be able to recreate the delicious dishes I made here! Iâ€™m up for the challenge :)
Tomorrow, off to see the longneck tribes north of Chiang Mai.
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