The Chef Tummy Thai Cooking Class is designed for the adventurous amateur cook or professional chef who wants to get a broad overview of the pungent and tantalizing tastes of Thai cooking. Morning or afternoon classes are available, as well as three-day and five-day intensive courses. Class sizes are limited to give each student the maximum amount of time for instruction and questions.
What You Get at the Chef Tummy Thai Cooking Class
• An overview of Thai cooking, including how to combine the individually flavors of Thai cooking to make a balanced and tasty meal. Students receive a “market tour” at the cooking school to explain the individual components of Thai cooking. Thai cooking relies on the “Five Fantastic Flavors” of combining spicy, salty, sweet, sour/tangy and bitter tastes in an artful balance to make fantastic meals. Each class reviews these components and how they are blended together.
• Thailand has four major regions (South, Central, North and Northeastern) - each with different cooking styles, ingredients and dishes. The class gives an overview of these different styles to illustrate the great breadth of Thai cooking.
• Hands-on instruction on Thai cooking where you make and taste your own Thai food. Each student has a wok and cooking ring on which they learn Thai cooking techniques and secrets. In each class four dishes are prepared using fresh, seasonal ingredients. The bounty of fresh seafood available from fishing families on Koh Phangan Island is emphasized, as well as locally raised vegetables, fruit, poultry and pork. The Cooking Class has its own organic herb garden to provide fresh and vibrant ingredients for your meal.
• Students receive recipes to take home with detailed explanations about preparation and artful presentation.
• Chef Tummy’s cooking tips and techniques – common sense ways to make your dishes interesting to look at and easy to make.
• Color glossary of Thai ingredients and their use so you can identify what you need to purchase to make great recipes.
• List of Thai ingredient stores and websites in your home country for purchasing Thai ingredients.
• Chef Tummy teaches the cooking classes in English with assistance from experienced Thai chefs at the Haadlad Prestige Resort & Spa.
The Cooking School features authentic Thai recipes Chef Tummy learned while traveling almost 6,000 miles / 9,500 kilometers in a year-long trip by motorcycle to learn family recipes from Aunties and Grandmothers from the four different regions of Thailand.
In addition, many of the recipes are time-tested dishes made by Chef’s Tummy’s Thai cooking mentor, Mr. Aow, whose family is well known for its tasty Thai and Chinese-style cooking with many restaurants in Thailand and Germany. The recipes featured showcase the different regional styles of cooking from Thailand, both traditional Thai and Chinese-influenced Thai.
What Makes Thai Food Unique
Thai cooking is a balance of contrasting, pungent flavors combined in an artful balance. The Fantastic Five Flavors of Thai cooking are spicy, salty, sweet, sour / tangy and bitter. Thai cooking features a plenty of herbs and vegetables combined with quick cooking techniques to lock in flavor and nutrients.
Thai cooking has adapted influences from neighboring countries and trading partners like China, India, Burma / Myanmar and Laos. But the country’s cuisine is not a copycat of these traditions. The cuisine has adapted external influences and ingredients with domestic fresh fish, poultry, meats and a wide variety of herbs and vegetables to make a unique style of eating.
The Fantastic Five Flavours of Thai Cuisine
Thai cooking artfully combines pungent flavors including spicy, salty, sweet, sour / tangy and bitter to make a delicious and perfumed balance. These “Fantastic Five Flavors” can be loosely grouped into five families.
Spicy Family Fresh and dried chillies; aromatics such as garlic, galangal, ginger, onions; dried black and white peppercorns.
Sweet Family Palm or coconut sugar; coconut cream, coconut milk or grated coconut; cane/castor sugar; sweet black soy sauce; sweet pickled garlic cloves; brown rice syrup; honey.
Salty Family Fish sauce; shrimp paste; oyster sauce; soy sauce; yellow and black bean sauce; dried fish and shrimp; salted & preserved vegetables; regular salt.
Sour/Tangy Family Limes, both regular and kaffir / wild versions; kaffir / wild lime leaf; lemongrass; tamarind paste; coconut vinegar; white distilled vinegar.
Bitter Family Dark green vegetables such as bitter melon, eggplant; some medicinal herbs. Thai cooking sometimes features bitter ingredients as a counterpoint to the sweet and sour flavors and this fifth flavor will be emphasized in some dishes made at the Chef Tummy Thai Cooking Class.
The Chef Tummy Thai Cooking Class emphasizes how to combine these Fantastic Five Flavors to make memorable meals.
Background on Chef Tummy
Chef Tummy traveled 6,000 miles by motorcycle to taste regional Thai cooking from the real experts – the cooks and grandmothers who considered him worthy enough to share their family recipes. The book he wrote entitled “Tasting Thai Food” will be published in early 2010. Excerpts of the Tasting Thai Food book are included in the TUMMY TALES section of his website, www.cheftummycooks.com
Chef Tummy also attended Thai cooking classes at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, the Chiang Mai School of Thai Cooking in Chiang Mai and the SITCA School on Koh Samui. Prior to relocating to Thailand, Chef Tummy worked in catering with his family in Boston, USA and attended the California Culinary Academy – Cordon Bleu school in San Francisco.
Location of the Chef Tummy Cooking Class
The Cooking Class is located at the Haadlad Prestige Resort & Spa on Haad Salad (Salad Beach) in the peaceful and picturesque northern end of Koh Phangan Island.
“In sharing the recipes I have learned from the real experts – the Aunties and Grandmoms who make the fantastic family food of Thailand – I want to expose students to the great variety of Thai food. Many Thai restaurants in the Western countries feature Central Thai or Bangkok style. Dishes like green chicken curry and Tom Yum Kung soup are wonderful but there are lot of other tastes and traditions that are worth sampling.”
Costs and Booking Details
The cost of each class is 1,500 Baht per person including all the ingredients.