Experiencing local cuisine is key to learning about the culture of the place you are visiting whether you find yourself in North Carolina or Thailand.  While exploring the Sunday evening market in Chiang Mai, I met Yui and learned about her cooking classes.  One of the best spontaneous decisions I have ever made was deciding to enroll in her course the next day.  I took her full day course, but there are also half-day options.

Scan 5My classmates for the day were a group of Australian tourists.  In addition to learning Thai cooking and appreciating Yui’s humor I got to see Thailand from the Australian perspective as they shared their travel stories.  The cooking classes are held at Yui’s home on the side porch where she has individual cooking stations for each student and a large dining area where everyone gathered to try out each dish as it was finished.

A highlight of the day was a field trip to the market for a guided tour with Yui.  She gave us tips for shopping in a Thai market and offered suggestions for alternative ingredients that would work well if we could not find something in American or Australian grocery stores.

Yui (Siripen Sriyabhaya), Thailand’s international TV  chef, and her husband, Kwan, a graphic designer, are the creative engines running A lot  of Thai home cooking class.  Yui began teaching Thai cooking in 1999 . . . she still teaches every dish in every class by herself to guarantee the highest quality of instruction. Her expertise attracts a variety of students such as, TV chefs, Executive chefs, culinary school teachers,  International Thai cooking instructors, Food columnists, Cookbook authors, tourists, and food lovers.

Established in 2001, A lot of Thai began with a maximum class size of 8 people.  Even though their business has seen tremendous growth, Yui and Kwan have decided that this small class size maintains the personalization and individual attention that each student deserves. The success of their growth can partly be attributed to the power of “word of mouth” publicity.  Read more here.

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As part of your course fee, Yui provides you with a copy of her Thai Cookbook, which 7 years later I still use regularly.  She does a fabulous job of writing her explanations to an audience not familiar with Thai cooking methods and ingredients.

If you find yourself in Chiang Mai spending a day at Yui’s cooking class is a must!  Want to reserve your course date now?  Go here.

Check out my other Thai adventures here.

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