A great benefit to travelling with my kids is an open calendar. There are no soccer practices to get to, lawns to mow, or meetings to attend. We have time. Bring that to boil with a little seasoning of a personally recommended Thai cooking school, and Mia and I found ourselves with a delicious day.
A friend of ours, Jessica, an amazing chef in Bellingham and owner of Ciao Time, suggested we look up her friend Yui at “A Lot of Thai cooking School.” They weren’t the cheapest school, but Jessica’s recommendation carries some serious calories. I emailed them,but they only had space for two of us.
Chiang Mai is host to dozens upon dozens of different cooking schools – their brochures are piled up in every tourist information center around town. But most of these cooking courses seemed pretty “cookie-cutter” to me, offering many of the same, standard recipes. I’m sure that one could still have a great experience at one of these other cooking schools but I wanted to make sure I was getting the real-deal – and that is exactly what I got from Yui’s A Lot of Thai Cooking School. What made this class unique was not only that I had the opportunity to learn to cook multiple authentic (and scrumptious) Thai dishes, but that I got to learn how to cook these dishes from Yui, who has a true passion for the culinary arts.
We really enjoyed doing a Street Food tour in Vietnam, so when we found out how many cookery schools there are in Chiang Mai it seemed natural to take a class to find out how to make some authentic Thai food. After a bit of research we picked the ‘A Lot of Thai’ cookery school and booked in for their Friday course.
‘A Lot of Thai’ is run by husband and wife team Yui and Kwan. Yui doesn’t have formal culinary training but she is passionate about Thai food (actually I suspect she’s pretty enthusiastic about all kinds of food!) and has been teaching people to cook for over ten years. There are photos of her more famous students around the classroom, including Gordon Ramsey. Her husband Kwan is a graphic designer and also handles the bookings and transport. The classroom is at the side of their house under a lean-to roof.
Q: What’s the next best thing to growing up in Thailand and learning to cook Thai food from your mom?
A: Taking cooking lessons in Chiang Mai from a local Thai chef, learning secrets she learned from hermom and tricks of the trade she’s picked up as a pro in Thailand…and around the world.