A funny thing happened on the way to the cooking school…
Before we left the USA I researched and booked a two-day cooking class at one of Chiang Mae’s best cooking schools. If you are a faithful follower of My Fab Fifties Life you know this is something I try to do in any country I visit.Green Curry and Basil Chiken
So my two-day class was booked and I confirmed the pick-up time and location the night before. Ready to go. Arne walked me down the block to where the scheduled pick up was to take place. The van was already there waiting for me. In fact, they were frantically looking for me at the hotel that is next door to where we are staying.Prepping the Papaya Salad
A young lady named Arin was happy to see me, but confused by my name. She asked if I had a receipt and I said I had not paid yet. She said “you are for the half day class?”. I said, no that I had booked for two-day class. She asked again my name and asked if I was sure I had registered for the Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre. I said yes. So into the van I got and off I went.
I enjoyed my day tremendously – the food, the staff, the other guests cooking. A wonderful and delicious learning experience. When I returned home that evening, Arne said “Well I don’t know what happened but the cooking school emailed and said they couldn’t find you at the pick up location.” Wait what? Apparently I went to the wrong cooking school. What are the chances that two cooking schools would be in the exact same spot picking up at the same time?Arin teahing us about spics at the market
I emailed the first cooking school (called the Thai Cookery Centre) and sheepishly apologized for my mistake. Then when the other cooking school (named the Thai Kitchen Cookery Center) picked me up the next day I confessed my error. ArinChilis at the market
laughed and said she knew something was wrong, but I had seemed so sure. She said it was no problem they just made room for me. Apparently the person they were looking for at the hotel was a no-show. It was a set of circumstances no one understood until later.Curry paste made with pestle and mortar
Arin told me it was our destiny to meet and spend two days cooking together. And I have to agree. I enjoyed it so much and learned so much. I’m sure the other school would have been fine too, but it was not my destiny to go there. The Thai KitchenMy favorite Chiang Mai Noodles
Cookery Centre was my destiny.Kaffir limes at the market
On the first day I learned to cook the following; Namprik Gaengkieow Wan (Green Curry Paste), Gang Kieow Wan Gai (Green Curry with Chicken), Portia Tord (Spring Roll), Gai Pad Bai Graph (Chicken with Basil), Sumtum (Papaya Salad), Dtom Yum Goong (Prawn and Coconut Milk Soup) and Kaew Neow Dum Biag (Black Sticky RiceBlack Sticky Rice
My favorite items from day one were Chicken with Basil, and the Black Sticky Rice Pudding.
On day two I learned to cook the following, Khaw Soi (Red Curry Paste with Chiang Mai Noodles), Gai Pud Met Mar Mooing (Fried Cashew Nut Chicken), Larp Gai (Spicy Chicken Salad), Kang Liang Goong Sod (Thai Herb Soup) and Glooay Tord (Fried Banana with ice cream).Frying the bananss
And yes we ate everything we cooked. My favorite on day two was the Khaw Soi Curry with Chiang Mai Noodles – a local speciality and it was so delicious. I also loved the Spicy Chicken Salad.
Each day we also went to the market to learn about ingredients and to purchase the ingredients needed for the day. This is such a great way to see the unique fruits, vegetables and spices in their raw form and to learn theVegetables at the market
differences from the items we buy at our local supermarket back home. It was a real eye opener.
In addition we learned about the different kinds of rice as well as different kitchen tools. We also enjoyed Butterfly Pea Flower iced tea with lime (purple and so refreshing) and an alcohol drink called Sato which was a sweet rice wine.
I feel very prepared to make these dishes again, and I plan to cook for my family once we are all together next week in Phuket and then in Ko Samui. I can’t wait to try my new-found skills on my family.
And so a mistake became my destiny – Thai Kitchen Cookery Centre, Chiang Mai. And I wouldn’t change a thing.