As Scotty and I planned out the trip in the first few days, Scott was pouring over notes and info that other travelers had given him. I was delighted when he suggested that we take a cooking course while we were in the northern city of Chiang Mai. It had been recommended by some of his Kiwi friends that had he had been traveling with earlier in the month.
As I set out on my expedition, I had always considered food as one of the main facets in which to focus on as I traveled. I not only wanted to experience it from a consumption standpoint, but also analyze it from an ingredient, historic and culturally significant component of a place. To do this effectively I really wanted to learn to cook various kinds of regional foods. I always expected Asia to be the most exciting place to do this.
It has become a touristy activity to take a cooking course in Thailand, with cooking schools given in english, and booked from various hotels and backpackers all over the country. As I have learned with somethings, being touristy doesn’t matter or taint the experience much, and taking a cooking course was definitely one of these activities.
We booked the course from Julie House, our hostel in Chiang Mai for the afternoon. The course was about 4 hours and included a tour and explanation of ingredients from the organic garden at the school, and a tip to a local market.
Here the teacher takes us through the garden of Thai ingredients.
After the garden tour we headed down the road to the local market.
After the market we headed back to the kitchen. We all sat around a long table, and decided what we wanted to make. We had the opportunity to choose between 5 categories, and pick out 3 dishes to prepare. As a group we had to pick 3 categories so that the school could shop and get us the ingredients. From those 3 categories we where able to individually choose 3 dishes to assemble.