Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bangkok: Cooking Class, Day 2

After our first day, we even more excited for the next cooking class. On our second day, we took the cooking class at our hotel, The Peninsula Hotel. Here is a slideshow of pictures from the hotel:

The format of this class included a trip to the local market. This was such a clean local market! The produce, the meats, the seafoods, and all the sweet and salty treats were so well organized and displayed. This was as good as visiting a museum. You can learn so much about a culture from their local foods. When I travel from now on, I definitely want to visit each city's local market. Here is a slideshow of pictures I took at the market:

After the market trip, we went back to the hotel to start the class. The lesson felt so exclusive because it was just my parents and me. The format was different from the previous day in that we enjoyed our creations after we made each dish, as opposed to at the very end. The cooking was a bit more hands on than the previous day because we each had our turns to make our own dishes. Although, we only made two out of the four dishes. The other two we watched Chef demonstrate them. Chef Chamnan is the Chef di Cuisine at Thiptara, the hotel's Thai restaurant. Like Chef Nahrain from the previous day, Chef Chamnan was also very friendly and open to sharing recipes and his knowledge. I can't tell you to choose one cooking class over the other. If you have two mornings/lunches open, take both classes at The Peninsula Hotel and at The Mandarin Oriental.

The Classroom
Located above Thiptara's kitchen. It's a nice covered, open air upstairs room that overlooks the hotel's pool.

With Chef Chamnan

Mango Smoothie
We were treated to a couple of fresh local drinks. This Mango Smoothie was one of the best I've had because it wasn't overly sweet nor thick. It tasted like a combination of ripe and green mangoes mixed with yogurt and honey.

Lemongrass Iced Tea
I fell in love with lemongrass during this trip. This lemongrass tea was delicate and refreshing. It was so good that we've been brewing lemongrass teas at home so we can still enjoy it.

Yam Som-O
Pomelo Salad with Grilled Tiger Prawns.
I enjoyed this lesson because we were taught that it is very possible to adjust the level of spiciness. After watching and tasting Chef's demonstration, we each had our turn to make the dish and have Chef taste it for his approval. The pomelo salad filled with shredded pomelo and a touch of tamarind juice for an additional tart-sweet flavor.

Tom Yum Goong
Spicy and Sour Soup with River Prawns
This soup has such a kick from the spicy and sour components! The soup is so light because of the broth and its fresh ingredients.

Tom Kha Gai
Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk
Chef was so generous to include another recipe for us to learn. Tom Kha Gai is a slight variation from Tom Yum Goong, in that it include coconut milk and has chicken instead of prawns. It's another delicious bowl of soup because the coconut milk adds a mellowing complex.

Pla Sam Ros
Deep-Fried Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce
We watched Chef put this dish together. The fish was coated with tapioca flour. It was soo delicious! The Snow Fish was light and the coating of the batter wasn't oily or overwhelming at all. And, the sweet and sour sauce brought the entire dish to life.

Khao Nhiew Ma-Muang
Fresh Mango with Coconut Infused Sticky Rice
From the start of the class, Chef started steaming the sticky rice and infusing it with coconut milk. For the last dish, he assembled it all together. This was tasty because the rice wasn't overly sweet, and it was wasn't over-cooked to the point where you could still bite each grain.

Certificate of Completion
Following our lesson, we received another Certificate of Completion from Chef Chamnan.

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