Last week APB Cook Studio was proud to host customized cooking classes with the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Thailand has become a favourite destination with the Indian traveler and Indians go back year after year for short holidays. Having traveled to Thailand countless times, Indian travelers are now on the lookout for new, authentic experiences. A culinary lesson to supplement a sumptuous Thai lunch in a beautiful setting is amongst the most popular, new and immersive experiences that India’s well-travelled are engaging in Thailand. To build awareness about this concept, Tourism Authority of Thailand tied up with APB Cook Studio to curate the first ever, hands-on destination-connect culinary event.
On April 16th and 17th, 2014 we had media, food bloggers and travel trade members visit us at the APB Cook Studio to explore the inextricable intertwining of Thai culture and tradition with its legendary cuisine and get a taste of culinary holidays on offer in Thailand with a Thai cook-up hosted by Rushina who showcased Thai curry from scratch, Basil Chicken Mango sticky rice infused with kaffir lime and lemongrass. And Team APB had a great time preparing for this event during which the studio was redolent of lemongrass, basil and kaffir lime.
On the day of the event itself, beautiful paper umbrellas adorned the nooks and crannies, printed recipes, customised aprons, and trays of colourful prepped mise were arranged at each station, ready for the participants to get in and start cooking. Supakan Yodchun, Assistant Director, TAT – Mumbai Office welcomed everyone and presented the culinary tourism prospects of Thailand. Rushina followed that up with a description of Thai cuisine, its characteristics, the ingredients typically used, the cooking styles as flutes of lemongrass sparklers; an APB signature drink and Rushina’s signature Thai Bhel made the rounds.
Pretty soon the chatter turned towards Thailand; the vacations, the meals and restaurants, the shopping, the experiences and the history! Rushina moved to the trainer station where she continued to hold forth on the distinctive traits of Thai cuisine, it’s tricky balance of flavours, the merits of using a mortar pestle over a mixer to make the most authentic Thai curry pastes and shared kitchen secrets of cooking Thai food at home. And then the participants headed over to the stations to prepare their own Green Thai curry and Basil Chicken with Steamed Rice. The studio was perfumed with the characteristic scents of Basil and Kaffir lime so much so that even Supakan, the representative from Tourism Authority of Thailand commended the participants.
As everyone plated their food and brought it to the main table to be photographed for posterity. There was a palpable air of excitement to dig into the colourful array of food; spicy, crunchy Som Tam, platters of kaffir scented prawns, stir fried Thai vegetables, golden yellow mangoes on a bed of kaffir infused coconut sticky rice and platters of sliced fresh fruit like Thai Guava, Mulberry and Star Fruit.
And as with most feasts, soon everyone was lost in savouring the food, recounting the most memorable meals from their travels. They left with hearts and stomachs full of the joy of cooking and savouring food and bags of house-made Thai curries and sauces -culinary souvenirs to recreate their new knowledge for their families.
Food is one of the most delicious ways to immerse yourself into the culture of a country, It allows you to connect with the locals learn about the place and bring home a repertoire of unforgettable food experiences and recipes. So make a local culinary class a part of your next trip. You will not regret it. Some of the most frequented learning centres for cooking in Bangkok are the Blue Elephant Cooking School, Le Cordon Bleu Dusit and the cooking sessions at Chon – the Thai restaurant at The Siam. Most of Thailand’s popular tourist cities and most five-star hotels also offer culinary lessons.