Photo: Pick your poison.

Thai cooking lessons

Our rating:

Taking a leaf out of Chiang Mai’s book, several spots in Pai offer half- and full-day Thai cooking classes.

They all run basically similar courses at comparable prices. What generally makes or breaks the class are the teacher and the set-up of the school. Pop along beforehand, meet the chef and have a peek at the place before choosing. All of these courses are fun and instructive, and provide you with a guided market tour, book of recipes (including suggested alternatives for products that may be hard to find at home) and offer a choice of dishes to prepare for lunch or dinner. All courses can cater to vegetarians.

Chop chop. Photo taken in or around Thai cooking lessons, Pai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Chop chop. Photo: Mark Ord

Our favourite, with an excellent reputation, is longstanding Savoei (A Taste of Pai) on Chaisongkran. They offer daily lunch sessions from 09:30 to 13:00 (700 baht) or dinner classes from 16:00 to 20:00 (750 baht). They include a recipe book, market tour, hands-on food preparation and tea, coffee and water. You’ll choose four dishes to prepare with a choice of curries which you make from scratch, a soup, stir-fry dish and dessert. The kitchen, just to the rear of the streetfront desk, is pleasantly laid out and the chef friendly and easy going with good English-language skills. They also have an array of harder to find at home ingredients on sale in their adjacent shop.

If you have more time to spare, another good operation offering full-day courses is BeBe Wok ‘n’ Roll. A similar style of programme includes market tour and recipe book, though you’ll cook a wider range of dishes at a more leisurely pace, including a midday break. The course culminates in a feast at dinner time when each participant is allowed to invite a friend to join them. They were closed for low season when we visited but will open again in October 2017. There are a few more options in town which again weren’t running classes during rainy season due to low numbers. Savoei is very good and operate all year, but do have a look at what else might be on offer if you’re signing up for a class during the busier months.

Hands-on tuition. Photo taken in or around Thai cooking lessons, Pai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Hands-on tuition. Photo: Mark Ord

BeBe Wok ‘n’ Roll Thai Cookery Class: 75 Moo 3, Tesaban Rd, Wiang Tai; T: (097) 285 5490
Savoei (A Taste of Pai): 34 Moo 3, Chaisongkran Rd (next to May World Travel), Wiang Tai; T: (085) 620 9918.

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