There are plenty of cooking classes to join in Bangkok, but Chef LeeZ’s has been on top of the pile for several years now. The chef herself has years of experience teaching, and it’s reflected in her classes.
Class sizes are generally around eight people, ensuring everybody receives the right amount of individual attention, and the kitchen is modern and spotless. Students are introduced to the core ingredients in Thai cooking before learning how to create 12 dishes in one class, finishing off with a tasting. The price is fair, working out at just under 200 baht per dish learned. In addition to a hard copy of the class recipes, students receive access to online recipes and “how to” videos. Just like at school, a class can be made or broken by its teacher – and Chef LeeZ more than makes it worthwhile.
Classes at Sompong start like every student’s dream — with a field trip. Before even picking up a knife, students are led to a local market, where they can start to connect with the food they’ll be cooking and learn about the key ingredients in Thai cuisine. Back in the kitchen, it’s a hands-on experience with each student having their own cooking station and equipment. The chefs are amiable and patient, so there’s never any feeling of pressure. This is the land of smiles after all, and cooking here is often about the journey as it is about the destination. Students get to cook several Thai dishes and are also given a recipe book to take home – so you can wow your friends at your next dinner party.
Classes at Silom Thai Cooking School begin in the morning, before the sun gets too hot, with a trip to the market to purchase local produce and learn a thing or two about Thai culture at the same time. In the class itself, the teachers — each with a culinary school qualification and teaching or cooking experience — will help students to prepare a lavish five-course meal. Most importantly, students are taught to prepare curry paste in the traditional way, which is in a pestle and mortar. Curry paste is extremely popular in Thai cuisine, so it’s essential to learn how to make it. With eight different courses to choose from – including an intensive course – there’s something for everyone, regardless of your food preferences or experience.
A cooking class at Baipai Thai Cooking School is an experience you’re unlikely to forget. For starters, it’s a beautiful location, a little further out from the city and set in an old traditional Thai-style building among beautiful gardens. This beauty is then transferred onto your cooking. Chefs demonstrate how to cook each dish before you’re let loose in the kitchen. But they’re always on hand if you don’t know your galangal leaves from your kaprow leaves. Students are not only taught how to make their dishes smell and taste good, they are also educated about presentation, too, as Thai food is a feast for all the senses. With emphasis on making classes fun and informative, this beautiful school in a laid-back part of town might be the right choice for you.
Established by the founders of Blue Elephant restaurants in various European cities, the brand is a name you can trust and has achieved success around the world. So there’s every chance success may rub off on you in the kitchen. Classes start with a trip to a morning market, before students are taught how to prepare the ingredients and cook them back in the Blue Elephant’s beautiful, historic building. With a focus on “ancient” Thai cuisine, students will learn how to cook traditional Thai meals including massaman curry, which was once espoused in poetry by a former Thai king. It may not be the cheapest class, but the chance to learn about traditional Thai cuisine from expert chefs in a historic, beautiful building? That’s priceless.
While most cooking schools may accommodate vegetarians in some of their classes, May Kaidee’s Cooking School focuses 100 percent on vegetarian-only meals. They also offer high levels of specialism for those who wish to fine-tune their approach to cooking Thai cuisine, with classes that teach how to make tofu, carve fruit, and even how to prepare raw food. With experienced chefs on hand to guide students, they’ll learn how to incorporate the many Thai flavours and ingredients into their dishes, with the end product being so delicious that meat-eaters won’t even notice it’s gone. Students are taught how to make dishes from starters to desserts, and are also treated to Thai dancing – making for a complete and memorable cultural experience.
Located conveniently near the Bang Chak BTS station on Sukhumvit, there’s no set menu at the Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy. It offers its students the chance to choose which dishes they’d like to learn how to cook, so there’s no fear of missing out on how to cook your favourite dish. Learners are taught in a comfortable air-conditioned kitchen, so there’s no need to worry about sweating into your pad Thai. Each of the chefs available has a wide range of experience, so you’re bound to walk away from the class with more than a few tricks up your sleeves. With class lengths ranging from half a day to eight weeks long, you can attend either for fun or to further your own culinary studies. Though one thing’s for sure: after learning from the experts at Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy, your dinner parties are going to be off the chain no matter how long you studied for.