Inside family-run Bamboo Tree Restaurant is a cooking school where students learn how to prepare northern Lao dishes from sister chefs Noy and Linda. Select which dishes you’d like to make then start the course with a visit to the local market to select ingredients and speak with merchants. After cooking, sit down with the other students and instructors and enjoy the fruits of your labor in an intimate feast. Take home a cookbook with recipes to replicate the meal in your own kitchen.
Indigo Farm is run via the boutique hotel Indigo House. It offers a hands-on course to learn how to prepare traditional Lao cuisine. The Natural Cooking Class begins with students picking ingredients from the 27-hectare organic farm and learning about crops and farming methods in Laos. Indigo Farm’s goal is to teach students, tourists and agriculturalists in Lao about the conservation of natural resources and ensuring Luang Prabang is a “Green City.” Prepare foods like marinated pork, Laap, sticky rice and fried mushrooms.
Tamarind Restaurant and Cooking School
Tamarind Restaurant is located on the Nam Khan in historic Luang Prabang. The longer day class and shorter evening cooking classes are taught in Tamarind Gardens, an idyllic outdoor setting surrounded by lily ponds. Transportation to and from the Gardens in included in tuition. Day participants start with a trip to the market to purchase ingredients for dishes such as chicken stuffed in lemongrass, jeow and mango sticky rice. If you are vegetarian, inform the instructor in advance as there is a veggie-friendly menu available.
Traveling Spoon’s cooking school business model connects travels with local hosts who share a home-cooked meal prepared in their kitchen. In an intimate setting, participants learn about local cuisine and culture while working side by side with a home chef to make a delicious meal. Choose your host and cook dishes such as mok pa (fish in banana leaves), soups, sin dad (Lao barbecue) or Lao soups. The hosts in Luang Prabang come from different ethnic backgrounds, speak English and are excited to share their family traditions with you.
Cooking School at Sofitel
The Cooking School at Sofitel is run by head chef of a restaurant on site. This four-hour class is offered twice a week and begins with a breakfast at Governor’s Grill at Sofitel. Students then head to the market to learn about local food customs. Prepare a four-course meal of traditional Lao food and learn about plating and presentation before enjoying the huge gourmet meal in the outdoor restaurant. Group classes are limited to 10 participants; private classes are also available. This course is informative, professional and ideal for those who love cooking.
Tamnak Lao Restaurant offers half-day and full-day cooking classes to travelers. Starting at 10 a.m., classes consist of a market visit to purchase ingredients then cooking two dishes to eat for lunch. Chat with other participants and the teachers and decide what three dishes to cook in the afternoon portion of the course. Take home the afternoon delicacies for dinner and a recipe book to re-create the flavors when you get back home.