Ever since I first tried Thai food in Holland, I have been fascinated by this cuisine. There is something about the combination of spices, fresh ingredients and complex curries that make it highly addictive. When deciding on a place to eat, Thai restaurants frequently made my short list. I even took classes at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) in New York so that I could feed my addition at home. The classes were taught by a woman who had studied in Thailand. Although I learned some great recipes and technique, none of that would prepare me for the experience of going to Thailand and immersing myself in the food, the smells and the culture.
As I have always loved Eastern foods and spicy flavors I was compelled to visit this country rich with culinary tradition. Lucky for me, I was able to convince my good friend Miryam, who also shares a passion for Thai food, to come along on this journey. Next we needed to find a good culinary school. There are many culinary schools all over Thailand. In fact the Thai culinary schools employ a remarkably large number of people. I received a great recommendation from a friend I met at a different culinary school. He had been to school in Thailand he recommended a wonderful place in central Bangkok. After reading their reviews on TripAdvisor I was convinced that this was indeed the best choice for us, so I went ahead and booked the intensive course.
The day finally arrived when we would embark on our cooking adventure. Miryam thought that as long as we would be in Thailand , we might as well spend a few day down South in Phuket. She took charge of booking some wonderful island tours for us to do as well. It was a nice surprise that in the end turned out to be one of the best adventures of my life. I went to Thailand with only one goal in mind; to learn how to cook authentic Thai food. We arrived in Thailand and went straight to our hotel. The hotel we selected was not glamorous, but it was only a 10 minute walk from the school and included breakfast. They had a wonderful buffet with at least three different main courses, fresh fruit, tropical juices, coffee, and more! If that did not sufficiently satisfy you, there is amazing market with a wide variety of street food just a block away. Like most Thai street foods, they were delicious and quite inexpensive. At the time of our visit, a pad thai cost you two dollars and a beer, 70 cents. What a steal!
A photo of the Silom City Hotel in Bangkok where we stayed. This hotel is conveniently located in the business center of Bangkok near major shopping centers, nightlife, the Bangkok Railway Terminal. The Sky Train (BTS) is also within walking distance.
This food market was located just one block away from the hotel. Check out their menu. You can get a vegetable stir-fry for 50 cents and a bottle of Thai beer for 70 cents! The food is fresh and delicious. I ate at this market many times and I never got the sense I was eating anything other than food cooked with great care. Thai people tend to be very clean and meticulous when cooking.
After many years or dreaming about this trip, the day I had waited for arrived. This photo was taken on our first day at culinary school. I was so eager to finally get into cooking action!
During our first lesson, we learned about traditional Thai ingredients, how to make curry paste from scratch, and how to make the famous hot and sour prawn soup, (tom yum goong).
Making curry paste from scratch is time consuming work but you won’t get the authentic Thai flavor on your dishes unless you put in the effort!
Chicken Satay (Sa tay Gai), one of my favorites and so easy to prepare.
On the left side Red Curry with Chicken. On the right Red Curry with Prawn. I could live on this food for the rest of my life!
On the left, my adventurous friend and travel companion Miryam, next to her one of our chefs at Silom and me.
During our week long course we got to meet people from all nationalities. We had a blast cracking jokes with them. We couldn’t stop laughing. They were awesome!
Our graduation day came and I was really sad to leave. We got so attached to the staff at this point that it felt like we were saying goodbye to a group of family members.
Lucky for us, we still had a few days left to spare, so we flew to Phuket for the weekend and got to stay at the beautiful and luxurious Banyan Tree!
During our stay at the Banyan Tree, we took a one day cooking class with their resident sous chef Worapong Paenchoo.
These are the dishes we prepared with Chef Worapong. Fried Fish with Sweet Chili Sauce, Yellow Curry with Prawn, and Papaya Salad.
This is Miryam and I on a visit to James Bond Island. Our trip to Thailand was an incredible, once in a lifetime experience that we will treasure forever. If you are planning a trip to Thailand and would like to know about our trip, feel free to visit Miryam’s blog, eatgood4life.com, and check out her travel section. She wrote an amazing III part post about our trip. Peace & Light to you, and thanks for stopping by. Please comeback again as I am planning to continue visiting and sharing with you my culinary experiences around the globe.