A cultural experience at Baan Thai Cooking School
A great and unique way to understand Chiang Mai culture is through the food. Throughout the city are a wealth of eateries where local food can be sampled, large restaurants to small street stalls are packed with delicious Thai delicacies.
Throughout the world in countries such as America, Australia and the United Kingdom, Thai food is becoming very popular and many restaurants are opening on the high streets. When visiting Chiang Mai there are many cooking classes and schools which offer low cost opportunities in which you too can learn the art to Thai cooking, so you can impress your friends and family back home.
One great place to start is at Baan Thai Cooking School. The school is situated within Chiang Mai on Rachadamnern Road and is placed within traditional settings making for a true cultural experience.
The school has many courses to suit all visitors. For instance on Mondays or Thursdays from 9.40am until 4.00pm a small class is held for groups of 2 to 9 people where they can learn how to cook a course of 7 dishes. The class is very reasonably priced at 900 baht per person who attends. This includes a trip to the local market in the morning to purchase the ingredients needed to make your dishes, the price of these ingredients is included within the initial course fee.
The market in itself is a great experience and offers a further insight into Thai life. The market consists of many simple yet quaint stalls selling fresh produce at a very low price. Once all ingredients have been purchased from the market you will then return to the school. An experienced Thai cook will then provide participants with a coloured recipe book which can be kept for your personal use and as a souvenir once the course is over.
With guidance from the tutor, you will then create the dishes that are relevant to the course you have booked. For instance course A, includes ‘Phat Thai’ which is Thai style fried noodles, minced chicken salad, hot and sour prawn soup, green curry paste, and green curry with fish ball. These are dished that you will find on many menus within Thai restaurants both within Chiang Mai and back at home in Thai establishments.
The school also caters for vegetarians, so it is important to state this choice of menu when booking so an alternative range of dishes can be provided. Additionally Thai food tends to be very spicy, especially in curry dishes. The tutor will explain that you can reduce the amount of chillies used in your dishes to make them more mild to suit your personal taste.
For those visitors who are experienced at Thai cooking, such as expatriates there are 6 day long intensive course available too. Each day you will learn to cook 6 different dishes, however you will also learn the fundamentals of Thai cooking, and look at making fresh pastes and traditional drinks such as old Thai ice tea.