Great Cooking Classes in Thailand

13 Jul 2022

It has become increasingly common for foreign visitors to Thailand to participate in cooking workshops to immerse themselves in the country's vibrant culinary scene. Furthermore, a country's cuisine speaks volumes about its people and culture. 

Thai food is well-known for its bold flavours and exotic ingredients. Participating in a local cooking class is an excellent opportunity to get hands-on experience in the field, eat delicious food, and mingle with like-hearted minds. 

We recommend you take a cooking class at the onset of your vacation. This way, you start with a better understanding of the region's cuisine straight from the start. This is because the instructors will often provide advice and pointers on understanding the local menus, which will make your dining experiences during your trip so much more satisfying!

While skipping the classes and just eating at restaurants in Thailand will provide some insight into the country's food, nothing beats taking a cooking lesson to truly immerse yourself and taste authenticity. Below is a list of reasons you should take a cooking course while in Thailand. 

 

You'll be Exposed to the Customs and Traditions of the People

One universal truth applies everywhere: local cuisine is an excellent window into a people's heritage and way of life. For instance, many of the most well-known Thai foods, including Tom Yum, have deep roots in the local people's customs and traditions. 

So, eating is not only a great way to meet locals but also a great way to learn about Thai culture. There is no substitute for digging your hands deep into a place's cuisine to understand it truly. You will most likely walk away from a cooking class with a newfound appreciation of the country.

 

Protect and Sustain a Cultural Heritage

Taking a cooking class in Thailand is a tangible way to show appreciation for the local culture. By eschewing the Western-style eateries that practically every tourist destination has, you effectively say, "I'm interested in your country's food and eager to learn more about it." Locals are often impressed and flattered to hear about travellers attending a cooking class while visiting their country.

 

Get a Local's Experience of a Local Market

Many cooking classes include shopping at the local market with your teacher. Sure, It's fascinating to explore a new market on your own; but taking a tour elevates the experience to a new level. 

By hearing your teacher's stories, you'll learn about the neighbourhood and discover what it's like to live like a native, shopping and cooking in the region. In addition, you'll learn about the many spices used in the local cuisine and sample exotic fruits and vegetables likely not available in your home country. Finally, your guide will tell you about all those strange things you have never seen before. 

 

Learn Useful Kitchen Skills Applicable to Any Meal Prepping 

You'll learn a bunch of fantastic little tips here and there from cooking classes. Take enough of them, and you could fill a book!

 

It'll Be Your Trip's Best Meal

You can spend all day perusing TripAdvisor and eating at the highest-rated restaurants in a new city, but you probably won't experience the best local cuisine. However, if you consider yourself a "foodie," the meal you prepare during the cooking course will not disappoint you!

 

Mingle with Fellow Adventurous and Open-Minded Vacationers

The majority of other globetrotters in a cooking class will be fascinating individuals. These are people who visit a foreign nation hoping to gain new perspectives and experience different ways of life from their own. 

 

Engage in Meaningful Interactions with the Locals

Establishing deep connections with the locals might be challenging. People rarely give you their full attention in public for more than a few seconds. They are either busy serving you (like at a restaurant, etc.) or passing you by on the street. Taking a cooking class with a local instructor is a great way to spend quality time with them and learn interesting facts about their culture.

While larger cooking courses are a great way to meet fellow tourists, they might make it tough to get to know your instructor personally. On the other hand, smaller classes with few students allow you to get more one-on-one time with the teacher.

 

Make an Impact on the Life of an Individual or Family 

Try to choose small individual or family-run classes over the more prominent corporate hotel or culinary school courses. Not only are they usually more fun and intimate, but they're the best way to get a genuine insider's look at the local culture. 

You'll enjoy an authentic taste of what it's like to live in that region of Thailand. Plus, you'll feel fantastic knowing that your purchase benefited a specific person rather than a large corporation.

 

Bring Home a Unique Souvenir

There is no finer souvenir from a trip than the knowledge to recreate a delicious local dish at home. You won't have to commit the recipe to memory. Most places where you may learn to cook will also give you a cookbook. That way, you can essentially take the dishes you learned to make back home with you. 

Nowadays, everyone has everything they need, so buying meaningless gifts for your loved ones is unnecessary. Instead, host a dinner party and let them enjoy your company. It's a much better treat than a magnet!

 

A Couple Cooking Class Frequently Asked Questions

I'm gluten-free/vegetarian/allergic/picky. Can I attend cooking classes?

Most cooking instructors have seen it all and are flexible. However, we recommend contacting them in advance to avoid any issues. If you aren't allergic, try a traditional meal before criticizing it. You may be pleasantly surprised.

I'm not much of a chef. Can I still enrol in a cooking class?

Absolutely! Most cooking courses are for novices, and teachers accompany you through each step. Likewise, if you're a cooking specialist, ask if the company offers advanced classes. 

 

Great Cooking Classes in Thailand

While many excellent culinary programs are available, choosing one can be challenging. That's why we've selected a few great cooking schools in Thailand to help you decide which one is right for you.

 

Thai and Akha Cooking Class

Where: Chiang Mai

This 6-hour Chiang Mai cooking lesson teaches Thai and 'Akha' cuisine. Learn about the Akha culture and food from a native host. Then, you'll visit the market to buy ingredients for 11 dishes (morning class only). Your session includes a souvenir cookbook.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

 

Small-Group Cooking Class

Where: Phuket

Thai food is excellent, but the unique ingredients and robust flavours might be scary. Phuket's small-group cooking class teaches traditional Thai foods. Your preferences and dietary demands are taken into account. The Morning class includes a market excursion.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

 

Half-Day Cooking Class with Market Tour

Where: Sukhumvit, Bangkok

This Bangkok cooking class teaches Thai cuisine. After scouring the market for goods, return to your air-conditioned kitchen for a small-group cooking class. Choose five dishes from more than 20 to create with your chef-instructor in a kitchen near a BTS (Skytrain) station. Complimentary dessert and fruit are included.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

 

Ya's Thai Cookery School Class

Where: Krabi

Ya's Cookery School in Krabi teaches you how to cook like a local. Skilled chef Ya will teach you how to make traditional Thai cuisine. For example, you'll learn how to make massaman curry, pad Thai, and more. The ingredients, class times, and hotel pickups/dropoffs are included.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

 

Farm to Table: A Cooking Class Plus Organic Micro Farm Tour

Where: Koh Samui

Island Organics Samui, with 415 5-star Trip Advisor reviews, is Samui's first farm-to-table Thai restaurant. Chef Lat will accompany you through the organic gardens and create a feast in the Thai cooking kitchen. Book early to ensure a day with chef Lat. 
You'll learn how the owners live a self-sufficient, sustainable existence on a small island with their three daughters. You'll learn 4 Thai dishes, create curry pastes, coconut cream, and herbal drinks, and tour a micro-farm before cooking to gather organic herbs and vegetables. 

For more information, CLICK HERE.

 

Ying's Thai Cooking Class

Where: Koh Samui

The classes are taught in either German or English. Before the cooking session begins, you'll visit the Hua Thanon food market to learn about the necessary veggies, herbs, and spices. Next, you'll make four Thai meals in the cooking lesson, including a tropical dessert. Then, in our Samui-style home, you can enjoy the Thai food you just cooked.

 

Chef Oy’s Cooking Class

Where: Koh Phangan

Chef Oy is a Koh Samui-born chef who's worked in Thailand, Belgium, and Australia. She's knowledgeable and makes class super fun.

At the beginning of your class, Oy gives you a menu to select the dishes you want to cook. You can choose 3 (1200 baht) or 4 (1500 baht), plus one dessert. One of the choices is a starter, the other two or three main courses. The entire group must decide on the starter, while the main dishes can be different for everyone. 

Once that's done, time to go shopping! You grab a bicycle and follow Oy to the local market, where you'll learn about Thai ingredients, spices and condiments. You'll also pick up everything everyone will need to make their dishes. 

FOR MANY MORE COOKING SCHOOLS IN KOH PHANGAN, READ THIS ARTICLE: Cooking Classes on Koh Phangan.