Whether you’re an accomplished chef or you admit that you’re a failure in the kitchen, taking a cooking class is a good way to learn how to whip up something new and delicious in the kitchen. And once you enjoy cooking instead of finding it a chore, chances are you’ll save money by dining in more frequently.
Bangkok features loads of cooking schools, most of which are focused on Thai cuisine. If you’d like to start this close to home, you could check out the Thai House Cooking School, which offers one, two or three day courses. Located on 12 rai of land in Nonthaburi, the location of the teakwood Thai House lets you take a break and learn at the same time – homestays are offered for those participating in the two or three day course.
Courses include an introduction to the kitchen and utensils (both modern and traditional), Thai cooking techniques and a rundown on selecting ingredients. Lessons are conducted in English, with a maximum class size of 10. Dishes taught include larb moo (spicy thai pork salad), kaeng ka-ri kai (yellow chicken curry), paneang neua (coconut beef curry), tom khaa kai (coconut and galangal soup) and kaeng kai sai normai (chicken in red curry with bamboo shoots).
Still in the region, brush up on your Chinese cooking skills by heading to the UFM Food Centre for one of their regular Chinese cooking classes. The next one kicks off on April 23 and runs for ten three-hour afternoon sessions. Two dishes are taught per session, and will include deep-fried pomfret fish in red wine, simmered chicken legs in Chinese herbs and bean curd soup. The English-language course will have a maximum of 20 participants, cooking together in groups of four.
The Peninsula also holds Chinese cooking classes via its in-house Chinese restaurant Mei Jiang twice a year, but its next upcoming class is through its Pacific Rim restaurant Jesters, which also runs classes twice a year. The half-day class on this cutting-edge cuisine will run on May 24, 25 and 26, and be conducted by Chef de Cuisine, Dan Ivarie. The half-day begins with breakfast served in the kitchen, continues with the three-hour demonstration and discussion, and will be followed by a lunch incorporating some of the dishes cooked. The menu to be taught is sesame duck pancakes with mustard vinaigrette and bitter greens; steamed sea bass on mashed potatoes with seared pea shoots; shiitake mushroom broth topped with goats cheese cream and black truffle essence; and wasabi ice cream. The class will cover product knowledge, tips on purchasing, preparation and cooking.
If you’d like to hone your Western cooking skills, the Dusit Thani College offers two types of Western programmes in Thai. Try their one-day "You Can Do It in 360 Minutes" Western food cooking programme, offered once a month. The next course is on May 19, and on the menu is corn cream soup, Italian-style pork piccata, and blueberry muffins. The longer two-month course is half Thai-food and half Western, with the latter composed of an introduction to cooking and basic cooking methods (basic cuts, stocks, sauces, soups and egg dishes). A sample menu for a day is salad Ni?oise, pork tenderloin medallions with pepper sauce, bouquetiere of vegetables and creme caramel.
The Modern Woman Cooking School also runs a Western cuisine class called the "Coffee Shop Course". Their three half-day course is conducted in Thai and has a maximum of ten participants. The course features lessons in soups, salads, steaks, stews, and pastas among other Western standards. The next course starts on April 18, but it’s run every month.
32/4 Moo 8
Tel: 9039611, 9975161
One-day course: Bt3,500
Two-day course, including accommodation: Bt8,950 (Bt600 single supplement)
Three-day course, including accommodation: Bt16,650 (Bt1,800 single supplement)
UFM Food Centre
593/29-39 Soi Sukhumvit 33/1
Tel: 259 0620
Ten half-day course: Bt7,800
333 Charoennakorn Rd
Tel: 861 2888 ext. 6402
Half-day course: Bt2,900
Dusit Thani College
Training and Development Centre
902 Srinakharin Rd, Nongbon
Tel: 361 7805
One-day course: Bt1,100
Two-month course: Bt23,640
Modern Woman Cooking School
45/6-7 Setsiri Rd
Samsennai, Phaya Thai
Tel: 279 2831
Three half-day course: Bt3,900