Thursday, September 26, 2019

{Postcard From Bangkok}: A Cooking Class To Remember

This past Spring I embarked on another first in my travel chronicles: I visited the continent of Asia for the first time. (Cue confetti!)  And if there was ever a place to christen my inaugural visit, it had to be one of my bucket-list destinations, Thailand.  So believe me when I say that it was everything I hoped, and then some, leaving me wanting more of what this Southeast Asian mecca has to offer, and currently ranking as one of my favorite travel escapades to date.

My ultimate itinerary combined my penchants for both diligent pre-planning (who needs unwanted surprises thousands of miles away from home?) and spontaneity (always leaving room for real-time discovery and greater immersion).  Spanning three of Thailand's most beloved (and delicious in so many ways) destinations--Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Phuket--it's fair to say that both approaches served me well.  And although this post is dedicated to my cooking adventures in Bangkok, I will be sharing more travel postcards from my time there in future posts.

In my element

So now for Bangkok--and cooking.  This is one detail my inner gourmand would not leave to chance or last minute maneuvering.  Because you know how seriously I take my cooking--and eating--around here. :)  Seriously, I wanted to invest in a cooking class that suited my skill, taste and experience levels, so I did what any type-A personality would do: I researched!! It's my M.O. for curating memorable, glorious travel experiences that rarely ever disappoint.  And this was no different.

After narrowing down my options to two top contenders, I ultimately opted for a half-day, six-course session, inclusive of a market tour that presented a range of staples (Thai chilies and curry pastes, among others) and novel ingredients (pink duck eggs, anyone?), alike.  The cherry on top? After a morning of instruction and hands-on cooking, our delicacies were served on a beautifully dressed dining table in the accompanying, acclaimed restaurant--the epitome of enjoying the fruits of our labor.  There was nooo way we could eat it all (I mean we're talking six sizeable courses per capita), but it sure was fun trying!

The fruits of my labor

The school of which I speak is the acclaimed Blue Elephant Cooking School.  And after my several hours stint, I can understand (and co-sign) on why it's heralded as one of, if not the, best cooking schools in Bangkok, as well as restaurants.  If you're trying to get your head around that, consider that two of my classmates were a couple from China who were prepping to open their own restaurant upon their return home!

I also couldn't help but wax nostalgic about my own cooking school and the beautiful memories I have been blessed to amass with my former students and host venues.  Side note: I'm resolved to kick my cooking classes and services off again, so stay close to me so you'll be among the first to know when the time comes.  In the meantime, I'll be recreating some of my Thai favorites in my home kitchen and bringing these memories back to life again.

So without further ado, enjoy this highlight reel of my cooking expedition!

Happy Eating & Travels!


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