Are you in Chiang Mai and looking for something to do? Get down to Thai Farm Cooking School! This was literally the perfect Thai food cooking experience.
Living in Asia has its benefits, and food is one of them. Food in Beijing is top-notch, but Thai food is a firm favourite of ours. When we did our research on Thai cooking schools, Thai Farm Cooking School came out top, and for good reason. They really did make an impression on both of us. We couldn’t improve the experience if we tried.
They were number 1 on Trip Advisor when we went and we found out that this was for good reason. We never believed we would be able to make Thai food to the standard that we did.
You’ll be picked up in a very new minivan that is far nicer than you would expect for a tour shuttle. During the ride to the venue, you get a menu with various Thai food and you choose the dishes you want to make throughout the day.
There is a slight limit with 2-3 choices per course throughout the day to choose from, however, the variety is enough that you will like one of the choices available. Vegetarian options are available with every course.
Halfway to the venue you stop at a local market and have a look around. This isn’t to buy ingredients; it’s just to experience some more authentic Thai food.
Your guide will take you around explaining what things are and talking with the locals whom they clearly see every day and have become very friendly with!
When you arrive at the school you will be given a red apron to wear throughout the day. Your guide will then take you through the garden where they grow everything they use in the course.
Then you sit down at the table with your mortar and pestle and get to work! It’s amazing how hands on it is.
Other cooking schools we have been to asked us to go to the front and help the chef every now and again. This experience is NOT like that.
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Every single person gets all the ingredients to make every dish and you make and cook everything on your own after being shown how to do it.
We made a grand total of 5 dishes: Curry (red, yellow or green), Soup (tom yam or Coconut milk), Stir fry (chicken or tofu), Pad Thai (chicken or tofu) and banana and coconut milk dessert.
Every single one of them was immense. We were also provided with lemongrass tea and papaya salad throughout the day.
All the food comes to your table on a tray as and when you need it from the helpers who also wash up as you go. The ONLY thing you do is prepare and cook food!
Every time you finish a dish everyone sits down together and chows down. The schedule does have breaks woven into it however you will never feel like they are trying to fill time, it’s a very busy day.
Our tour guide was a woman called Joy and she clearly loves her job. Nothing was a chore for her and she got so involved, not just with the cooking aspect but conversation and banter throughout the whole day. If you can, I would recommend requesting her as your guide for the day.
In the end, you get an extremely professional recipe book. It has detailed instructions with pictures on how to make everything you saw throughout the day, PLUS loads of new recipes that are traditional to Thailand.
There are so many different cooking classes across Asia, but Thai Farm Cooking School really does deserve its place as number 1 in Thailand. If you’re ever planning to visit, make sure that you go to Chiang Mai and take a class!
I cannot recommend this class enough – one of the best experiences I have ever been on. Have you been to Thai Farm Cooking School? Have you had another cooking experience in Chiang Mai? Please let us know in the comments below!