Cooking class in Chiang Mai

Why haven’t I done this before?

They are all over South East Asia, but for some reason I had not attempted one yet. I think usually I decided there are more important things to do. But now that I have returned to Chiang Mai and it is too damn hot to go to more temples, I decided it was perfect timing for a Thai cooking class.

Lena, a German girl that I met during the Gibbon Experience and I took a mini van from the border to Chiang Mai. I did this to make my way down to Bangkok, where i have a flight to catch to Kuala Lumpur. Lena is quite an interesting girl, taking a gap year before going to college, and spent 6 months in India traveling by herself! She has a calm, sweet personality that should make her meanderings easier. She told me she loved India, never took a plane in the six months she was there, and happily went around taking meditation courses and yoga classes. She is not a hippie, I think she’s too young to have chosen any particular lifestyle, but she certainly immersed herself in the Indian culture and spirit in a way I wished I had. Now she made me want to go back but it’s too hot! I will have to do so some other time…. Sigh…

The class was recommended by the three American girls that went on The Gibbon experience with us. I pass on the recommendation. Venna, The teacher, and her husband picked Lena and I up from our hostel and took us to an evening market to buy our ingredients. I told her I was from Colombia and she very happily told me she had already had Colombian students. It was refreshing to hear someone that knows where Colombia is, and she would show me the ingredients and tell me happily how I could certainly find tamarind sauce and coconut milk anywhere in my country.

They then took us to their house, where they have a pretty cool set up of kitchenettes, tables and mats for classes much bigger than ours. We were lucky it was just the two of us, since we got to be very closely instructed and corrected.

I chose four dishes:

1. Green curry
2. Sweet and sour stir fried chicken
3. Pad Thai
4. Papaya salad

Lena chose
1. Sweet and sour curry
2. Cashew nut stir fry
3. Pad Thai
4. Coconut soup