Asia

A Culinary Journey

written by | Posted on August 1st, 2009

The Thai Cooking School at the legendary Mandarin Oriental Bangkok has been serving up delicious lessons with lunch for more than 15 years. The hands-on courses run daily, except Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include four dishes per session. The cooking school is on the hotel property overlooking the river and costs approximately $115 pp, or $580 for the full week’s program. A class could be added on to the Bed & Breakfast package, which runs through mid-October and costs $299 sgl or dbl with full daily breakfast and late check-out.

The Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok hosts twice-daily classes that can accommodate a mixed level of cooking ability. The school is close to one of the oldest markets in Bangkok—the Bangrak morning market—and shopping trips often come with the tariff, although actual ingredients have been washed and prepared beforehand. Classes start at $80 pp. Vegetarian classes run $170. Classes can be bundled together for a discount, or clients can choose the 5-day professional private chef’s course for $1,921.

Signature dishes include “foie gras” with tamarind sauce, scallop and mangosteen salad, bamboo fish, and green curry with black chicken.

Wyoming-based Cooking Class Asia offers what amounts to a Thai Cooking Vacation with four group cooking classes (limited to 12 participants) that are held at both an organic Thai farm just outside Chiang Mai and at a charming antique teak house in Chiang Mai’s old quarter. The cooking course introduces diverse flavors from all regions of Thailand in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus. Guests stay at the Shangri-La Hotel in Chiang Mai. Rates of $1,499 pp dbl ($200 sgl) are land-only and include classes, cookbooks, wine and beer in class, culinary field trips to fun dining establishments (beer and wine included), accommodations, breakfast buffets, cultural sightseeing, airport transfers, restaurant gratuities, and English-speaking guide.

In Chiang Mai, the Four Seasons offers cooking class programs in a luscious Lanna-style, open-air pavilion. A special Thai Culinary package that runs through October includes daily breakfast at Sala Mae Rim, roundtrip airport transfers, a visit to a local market, a fruit and vegetable carving lesson, and participation in two cooking school classes pp. The minimum stay is three nights and rates start at $621 per night.