Best Thai Cooking Course in Pai
Dates: 12 Mar
I love cooking and I also love Thai food, so one of my must-do things in Thailand was a Thai Cooking Course. I looked at some in Chiang Mai and in Pai and found that BeBe Spice was the Best Thai Cooking Course in Pai, and I wasn’t disappointed.
It’s a long day, starting at 8.30am and finishing at around 10.30pm – so you learn lots and get chance to ask Thom (the woman who runs the class) any questions you have throughout, there’s certainly no rush.
Thom was great, it’s clear she has a great passion for what she does and builds a great rapport with everyone involved on the day (see the 100% 5* reviews across tripadvisor & facebook to confirm this too). Be prepared for lots of sass and banter, Thom is a character – she makes the day entertaining and makes you feel at home and as if you were family.
You start the day by selecting which dish you want to cook from each of the four sections; curry paste & curry, stir fry and soup. Once you’ve selected your dishes it’s off to the market you go with a shopping list. When at the market Thom gives a rundown on most of the ingredients and teaches you how to pick out the best quality ingredients, then gives you some time to get everything from your shopping list.
After you’re done at the market you head back to the kitchen to get started on your curry (I chose a Yellow curry) – one of the big advantages of choosing BeBe Spice over most other cooking courses in the area is that you do everything from start to finish, I have heard of other cooking courses giving you the ingredients already prepped which is less than ideal if you want to learn how to cook. For lunch you set out all of the curries cooked by people in the class – there were 4 people including me, when I did it, a perfect size that allows you to sample a selection of the curries but at the same time not be too many people cooking.
Once lunch is over you have a short break then head back to cook the stir fry and soup so they’re ready at the same time – so you’re also learning to cook a couple of dishes at once! My stir fry and soup of choice were holy basil & chicken stir fry (pad gaprao) and Thai noodle soup. Before you come along to the class you have the choice of inviting a friend to come dine with everyone at the end of the day, another great perk of choosing BeBe Spice.
Not only do you cook the dishes you select, during the day Thom teaches the basic outline of cooking all the dishes from each section so while you are cooking 3 dishes + a paste – you’re essentially learning how to cook all of the dishes from a cookbook that is provided as part of the cost. She also goes over each ingredient with you, including a taster session on the massive variety of soy/fish/mushroom/oyster sauces available so you know what can be substituted for something else if you can’t find it in your home country, this also goes for the other ingredients too as some Thai cooking ingredients can be difficult or impossible to find outside of Asia.
One of the reasons this is the Best Thai Cooking Course in Pai is that Thom runs these courses every 2 days, so on top of the great day you have she offers you the choice of coming back the next evening and cooking a dish that someone else cooked on the day with whatever ingredients are left over from the course – I went back and cooked a pad thai then sat and had a drink with Thom and some of her friends & family.
At 1300baht BeBe Spice does come in a little higher than most other cooking courses in Pai & Chiang Mai but I went away feeling extremely satisfied and felt it was money well spent. I feel I got much better value for money here than I would have got at other places, so if you’re looking for the Best Thai Cooking Course in Pai look no further.