Baipai Cooking School, Bangkok, Thailand
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Bangkok twice now, and I hope to go back many more times in the future. It’s an amazing and very underrated city, and there are a billion reasons why; places like this count for a few of them!
I came across this cooking school on a trip I took a few years ago with my best friend. We decided to take a girls trip to Phuket and Bangkok, and wanted to try some new and exciting things, like a Thai cooking class. I had just started working as a travel consultant a few months before the trip, and this school came highly recommended, so we decided to enrol and give it a go!
When the day came for our class, we were whisked away from our hotel in the middle of Bangkok in one of their complimentary shuttles. We were terrified; two young women in a big, unfamiliar city, and we were being ushered into an unmarked van to take us to a cooking school, in the middle of goodness only knew where. After 15 minutes or so of driving through a whole lot of back streets and abandoned alleyways, we started to panic a little… we finally arrived at what looked like one of those compounds run by a Mexican drug cartel in a bad movie – enormous, high, concealing gates, that took some effort to slide open. We had no idea what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t the garden paradise that sprawled out before us behind the gates!
We climbed out of the van, and looked around in pure amazement at the beautiful gardens, ponds, water features and cushioned rooms overlooking it all.. it was stunning! We were invited in, given a cup of tea while we waited for the other participants, and relaxed for a few minutes. Then, the fun started!
We were each given our own set of recipe cards, and briefly run through the dishes we were to make. It was completely hands on, we did everything from chop our own onions to mix our own curry paste! The ladies were fantastic, explained everything incredibly well and made sure everyone was laughing and having a great time while we were learning their tricks.
Two of the four dishes we cooked are below: Masaman curry (with curry paste made from scratch!) and stir fried chicken with crispy Thai basil leaves on rice. We also did an amazing pomelo salad and home made rice crackers with toppings. It was also lovely to sit down and eat with everyone, getting to know some fellow travellers and food fanatics!
At 2,200 THB (or approximately AUD $75.00) for a 4 hour course (including take home recipes), I thought it was pretty good value. They were small classes – we only had ten people in ours – so we got plenty of attention and help and time to ask questions. The recipes were also simple enough that I’ve been able to re-create them at home with no problems, which is always a concern when doing these classes! I’d definitely recommend this class to anyone visiting Bangkok with an interest in Thai food; it’s a really fun morning or afternoon out with like minded people, lovely hosts, and incredible food!