A day with… {Sammy's Organic Thai Cooking School}

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“Trust me! Sammy is good! Best cook! Everybody happy!” Jim, our guesthouse owner, once again has the best arguments. We are sitting in the courtyard of our guesthouse and are a bit at a loss. We had already decided months before in Vienna that we wanted to take a cooking class in Chiang Mai. Now we are sitting here and are overwhelmed with the abundance of the offer! How on earth do so many cooking class providers survive here? Chiang Mai is arguably the city with the highest rate of cooking classes in the entire world, that’s for sure. We’re starting to ask ourselves whether such a course pays off at all…

“Trust me! Everybody likes! Really!” Well, persuaded! Can you counter such arguments? We decide to trade 750 baht for a day with Sammy and believe us it was probably one of the best decisions of our lives.

The next morning we will be picked up by Sammy. Besides us, there are a few other travelers with us. Together with Sammy we drive to a market just outside of Chiang Mai. He guides us through the crowd, shows us how coconut milk is made and explains the difference between dozens of types of rice. We are still not quite sure whether the day will be able to live up to our expectations. But that’s just the beginning…

Everyone into the pickup taxi and on we go. After a short, bumpy ride we reach the farm and are… EXCITED! We would never have imagined it to be so beautiful in our dreams! Everywhere plants, flower beds, palm trees. And in the middle of this wonderfully lush green dreamlike environment is an open, roofed bungalow with several cooking places. We can’t imagine a nicer place for a cooking class!

And then it starts. Our first task: to make curry paste. Sammy explains the ingredients to us and then we grind. 5 minutes, 03 minutes,… but the stuff is still a long way from a paste? “More! More! More!” – We use mortars as hard as we can (or mortar). Is cooking always so exhausting? After about 10 minutes we made it: A red and a yellow curry paste are waiting waiting to be processed.

In the course of the In the next few hours we learn how to make tom kha gai soup, enjoy the – honestly – best chicken with cashew nuts of our lives (and believe us, we have a lot of experience with this dish!), we roll spring rolls and: we have so much fun included!

During the lunch break we lay down for a nap in one of the hammocks. It’s really bearable here!

In the afternoon it’s the turn of the desserts: Sticky Rice with Mango – bring it on! Everything just tastes divine. We don’t know why. Is it the fresh ingredients or our cooking skills? We eat and eat and eventually the point is reached where nothing fits in us anymore. Nothing at all! One more bite and we’d burst. With full bellies and happy faces we head back home to Chiang Mai (Yes, home – we have found a kind of home here).

So if you’re like us and you’re from the If you have to or are allowed to choose from many cooking course providers in Chiang Mai, then choose Sammy. Jim was (as so often) right! Without having attended the other cooking classes, we dare to say that Sammy’s really is the best!

Have you ever taken a cooking class in Chiang Mai? Leave us a comment with your experiences and tips.