The ‘ Thai Me Up’ slogan on our aprons was a humorous start to our Thai cooking class at Isaan in the Grand Hyatt. After a welcome drink on arrival our small group of 6 quickly found ourselves in the kitchen with our aprons and chefs hats on clutching our recipes books.
We were given a brief introduction to the chefs we would be working with and the first demo was for Chicken in Pandan Leaves. Chef showed us how to prepare the chicken, marinate it then wrap it in the Pandan Leaves ready to be steamed and deep fried – then it was our go. It was much more difficult than it looked and the result didn’t resemble the perfect triangles we had been shown but the staff were on hand to guide us and laugh at/ with us until we eventually got the hang of it, even if our ‘triangles’ had 5 edges! We then got to taste the ones which had been prepared earlier and they were delicious especially with a deep, syrupy soy sauce.
Next we moved on to dessert, Banana in Coconut Milk and while it was not very complex, chef talked through the various elements and how the dish is traditionally prepared and eaten. Our final two dishes were Red Curry and Fried Rice. We went over to the second kitchen with the proper Wok stations and we were given a demonstration show how to make Chicken Curry which was making our mouths water as our appetites grew. One of the highlights of the afternoon was the wok demonstration – the huge flames from the wok and the skill of the chef handling the ingredients, controlling the flame and water whilst producing delicious fried rice. Needless to say our efforts weren’t quite as good – those woks are deceptively heavy!
Once the demonstrations were over we all sat down together and ate what we had made, then we received a certificate for our participation.
It was a lovely afternoon and it encouraged me to try more Thai dishes at home as we were also advised where to buy ingredients and substitutes if items are not available. I don’t think this class is suitable for somebody who has a lot of knowledge of Thai cooking as it was a basic introduction and may not challenge someone who cooks Thai food a lot. As a small group it was very informal and we felt able to ask lots of questions and the staff who ran the class were very friendly and encouraging. I’d really recommended this class if you like cooking or as a gift for someone who would like to learn more. I am definitely booking on to the next class as they change the recipes monthly and I thoroughly enjoyed is as did my friends who I went with. My one piece of feedback would be to offer people the option of buying the apron as a memento of the afternoon to go alongside the chef’s hat and recipe book
The cooking class cost 280QR per person and includes: a welcome drink, cooking demonstration of 4 recipes, a glass of wine / soft drink with lunch, tea or coffee, a chef’s hat, a recipe booklet and a participation certificate.
Thanks to Mandy and Gill for their company and allowing me to use their photographs!