Enter the dynamite chili. These little buggers are so hot that our chef only gave us half chili each to cook with. She said half of a dynamite chili was “tourist level spicy”, which is still super spicy by the way. She then went on to tell us that she uses 10 dynamite chilies in her curry! She referred to this as “Thai level spicy”, and no tourist wants to go there. Trust me! We had gone to a restaurant the night before and I got a meal that was Spicy Level 1, and I wanted to rip my lips off! Spice in Thailand is no joke! On our half day cooking class at the Thai Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai began with visiting the local market, called Ruamchok. We were able to see all the fresh food and spices that the locals in Chiang Mai purchased. Once we were done exploring the market, we drove to the cooking school.
The Thai Farm Cooking School opened in 2000, and was originally a rice field. Since then, it has become home to dozens of trees, such as mango, rose apple, jackfruit, and star fruit, along with a large vegetable garden. While touring their gardens, before our cooking class began, we got to try lemon grass, galangal, chili, basil, cucumber, morning glory, beans, coriander, bottle gourd, spring onion, ginger and more. It was a great opportunity for us to learn more about the ingredients we would soon be cooking with. Once the garden tour was complete we headed to the cooking area and changed into our aprons and straw hats. All of the cooking is done by you as the chef walks you through it step by step. Each of us got our own cooking station with a stove, a table, a chopping block, mortar and pestle, knives, spatula and many other cooking utensils. We learned how to cook curry, Tom Yam and Tom Kha soup, along with Spring Rolls.
After neatly plating each course, we would sit at the dining table and eat our organic, homemade meals and get to know each other. The last meal of the day was dessert, which was mango with blue sticky rice. The rice was made blue by squeezing the juices out of a local blue flower. It was quite beautiful.
One of the best parts about the tour was that we received a cookbook of all the recipes, plus some extras, that we made during our class. Now, we can make authentic Thai food at home!
For booking and more information, please visit the Thai Farm Cooking School website: www.thaifarmcooking.net