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Why taking a Thai cooking class will change the way you eat forever

Let a team of fully qualified chefs walk you through some of the most delicious Thai meals.

It’s all about combining fresh produce and spice

Thai food is an explosion of tastes in your mouth.  It is the mixture of sweetness, sour and spice ­– all at the same time – that makes Thai food one of Australia’s most popular, and healthy, cuisines.

The secret to success in the kitchen is knowing how to combine all these flavour sensations.

In this story, we will look at five different cooking classes in Thailand that will make you a whiz at creating classic Thai dishes.  One class won’t make you a master chef, but it will make you the envy of all your friends when you dish up traditional treats like Tom Yum Goong or Gaeng Daeng.

Almost all Thai food is prepared fresh, so most cooking classes will start with a visit to a local market, or garden, to select the produce. The markets are a very important part of life in Thailand. They can be the centres of the local community where people combine food shopping with catching up on the local gossip. They are loud, crowded places with a myriad of smells that waft skyward constantly catching your attention and sending you off in a different direction.

When you get back to the kitchen though, that’s where the true chemistry begins.

Thai cuisine tends to reflect the region it comes from. So where you do your cooking class will often determine what you learn to cook.

Northern food is more like what you would find in neighbouring countries Laos and Myanmar.  Khao niaow (sticky rice) is the staple of the Thai diet in the north, while one of its most popular dishes issom tum (papaya salad).

Central Thai food (think Bangkok) is about serving small, but different courses. Most meals will include a soup, dried fish, spicy salad, a curry and some vegetables.

In the southern region curries and seafood make their way on to most menus. Thailand is one of the world’s largest seafood exporters, which also makes it one of the best places to eat fresh seafood. Ask your Hoot Holidays consultant about booking a cooking class when you book your Thailand holiday flights and accommodation.

Here are five Thai cooking classes worth donning the apron for:

Centara Grand Beach Resort in Phuket is an amazing destination for food lovers. The hotel hosts cooking classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting from about $65 per person. You will visit the local market to select the produce, taste local wine and take your Thai cooking skills to the next level.

The Angsana Laguna Phuket overlooks the inviting waters of Bang Tao Bay; just 20 minutes drive from central Phuket. The sprawling resort offers seven different dining venues and is known for its food experience. You can get modern Asian fusion; traditional Thai delights some more adventurous seafood choices. It also has a great cooking school with classes starting from about $65.

The chefs at the Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa offer cooking classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from noon until 3pm. The 600-room Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa is on Patong Beach and overlooks the Andaman Sea.

On Koh Samui, guests at the Bandara Resort and Spa decide what they want to create before the cooking class. They then head to the in-house herb garden to collect all the ingredients.  The chefs nearly always start the classes with a lesson on how to use your knives properly. Knowing how to carve, chop and cut with precision can save you so much time in the kitchen. Each guest cooks three dishes.

The Pakinnaka Thai cooking class in Khao Lak is set in a tropical fruit plantation. Guests pick their own organic produce before joining local celebrity Wandee in the kitchen.

Learn to cook traditional Thai food.

Classes run seven days a week with the four-hour group hands-on class starting at 10am and costing about $65. Each participant has his or her own cooking station.

The price includes round trip transfers from your hotel, lunch, and a herbal drink.

 Speak to your Hoot Holidays specialist to book your flavour sensation holiday in Thailand.