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Thailand’s cuisine is world-renowned not only for its intense flavours and spice but also the cultural importance it plays in the traditions and daily routines of the Thai people. Recipes are often passed down through generations with eating customs focusing around the family and communal dining.

When visiting Thailand, what better souvenir to take away than the experience and know-how of making your favourite local dish back home? Most 5-star hotels and resorts offer group or private cooking programmes but there are also a number of independently-owned classes found throughout the country. These are Exotiq’s top picks.

 

BANGKOK

Blue Elephant Cooking School

blueelephant.com

233 South Sathorn Road

In a century-old colonial house amidst Bangkok’s buzzing business district, the iconic Blue Elephant restaurant and cooking school gives students the opportunity to try their hand at cooking a selection of Royal Thai dishes for fun or enrolling in a full professional course.

 

Baipai Thai

baipai.com

8/91 Ngam Wongwan Road, Chatuchak

With an emphasis on home-style Thai cooking, this tranquil open-air venue seems miles from the bustle of central Bangkok.

 

May Kaidee

maykaidee.com

59 Tanao Road, Phranakorn

Offering numerous course options, from a 2-hour express class to a full 10-day course, May Kaidee has long been a go-to class for vegetarians focusing solely on vegetarian and vegan Thai dishes.

 

The Market Experience by Expique

expique.com/bangkok/the-market-experience

46 Soi Sathorn 9, Yannawa, Sathorn

Immerse yourself in Thai culture with The Market Experience cooking classes, including specialised lessons in fruit carving, sauces and desserts, based in Bangkok’s famous flower market, Pak Klong Talad. Offering rare insight into market life, guests are guaranteed to have an authentic Thai experience with a twist.

 

PHUKET

Blue Elephant

blueelephant.com

96 Krabi Road, Phuket Town

Under the leadership of Chef Noroor Somany Steppe, Blue Elephant’s reputation for authenticity and excellence earns it a place in the Michelin Guide. The restaurant and cooking school are both located in the 105-year-old historic Phra Pitak Chinpracha mansion, an opulent Sino-Portuguese style home in the centre of Phuket Town.

 

BrassWok Thai Cooking Studio

brasswok.com

149/12 Moo 4, Srisoonthong, Thalang

BrassWok owner and Le Cordon Bleu-trained Chef Pui loves to share her passion for cooking in intimate or private classes. Her students are given the opportunity to select their ingredients from local markets and learn how they’re used in classic central and southern Thai dishes.

 

KOH SAMUI

Island Organics

islandorganicssamui.com

24/1 Moo 4, Bangrak

Passionate about organic ingredients, Chef Latthana focuses on farm to table cooking practices with special insight into aquaponics and other organic food growing techniques. Her eco-farm provides fresh produce as well as free-range eggs, poultry and organically farmed tilapia fish.

 

 

 

 

Infusion

infusioncookingclasssamui.com

Soi Khao Phra, Bophut

With its own organic garden, Infusion’s cooking classes take advantage of using fruit, herbs and edible flowers fresh from the garden. Able to substitute any meat-based dishes with vegan options, this class is suitable for all in the popular fisherman’s village of Bophut.

 

 

 

CHIANG MAI

Pantawan Cooking

pantawancooking.com

201 Moo 2, Mae Hia

Enjoy a true taste of Thailand in this classic Thai teak house surrounded by one acre of lush gardens and an organic farm. Pantawan Cooking's open-air classroom and gorgeous wooden workstations lend an extra serving of authenticity to this family-run cooking experience.

 

Thai Akha Kitchen

thaiakhakitchen.com

15/1 Soi 4 Arak Road

As Chiang Mai’s only cooking school that specialises in the cooking traditions of the Akha people of northern Thailand, Thai Akha Kitchen works towards preserving this fading culture. Although a mostly plant-based cuisine, some dishes do incorporate meat but vegan options are also available.

May Kaidee

maykaidee.com

29/4 Chang Moi Kao Road

Owner and Chef May boasts restaurants in the U.S., Cambodia and Thailand, and has released her own vegetarian and vegan Thai cookbook. Her popular meat-free Thai recipes have found an even larger following thanks to the cooking classes offered in both Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

 

HUA HIN

Bamboo Thai Cooking

bamboothaicooking.com

1337/29 Phetkasem Road, Cha-am

Step into this home-based cooking school for a fun leisurely trip through Thai cuisine. Tour the garden with the chef and owner, Anya, and learn step-by-step about what goes into preparing Thai food.

Thai Cooking Course

thai-cookingcourse.com

19/95 Phetkasem Road, Soi Hua Hin 19

Chef Beau, once a chef in a 5-star hotel, puts emphasis on a fun and informal learning experience. Beginning her classes with a trip to the local market, she is adamant about supporting local farmers and vendors over large chain supermarkets.

 

KOH LANTA

Time for Lime

timeforlime.net

72/2 Moo 3, Saladan

With its laid-back, animal-friendly atmosphere, Time for Lime boasts a gorgeous beachfront location with nine bungalows also on site. The first cooking school in Koh Lanta, it continues to provide creative Thai cooking classes as well as lessons in cocktail making and artistic food plating.

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