Koh Samui is jam packed with activities and most people are never short of things to do when staying on the island. Whether it’s taking in some of Samui’s most famous sights, such as the Big Buddha statue, or elephant trekking through the jungle, there really is something for everyone. But how about taking part in an activity where you can learn new skills, meet new people, sample great food and take home what is perhaps the ultimate Thai souvenir? Attending a cooking class on Koh Samui is a great way of doing all of those things. What better way of impressing your friends back home than by cooking up a feast of authentic Thai cuisine? Along with Chiang Mai, and Phuket, Samui is also home to a wide and varied selection of cooking schools which cater for all ages and cooking abilities, from complete beginners to expert chefs. Increasingly, a number of resorts and hotels on Koh Samui also offer guests the chance to take part in a Thai cookery course. Learn to cook all of your favorite dishes from spicy to Som Tam to a rich and creamy Massaman Curry – you can even take courses on the traditional Thai art of fruit carving. Of course, if you consider yourself to be something of a Thai foodie already, then taking a cooking course is another excellent way of further exploring the wonders and techniques of creating Thai cuisine. Not only that, but it offers something different and is an activity the whole family can enjoy.
Samui Cooking Classes: What to expect
As mentioned, Koh Samui is home to a number of different Thai cooking schools. Whilst each will offer their own different program and have their own unique way of doing things, it is normally the case that each cooking class is run on a daily basis. The day will usually begin with a trip to the nearby fresh market, where you will not only purchase all the ingredients you need to make your favourite dish but you will also be given information on each of the different vegetables, herbs and spices which are commonly used in Thai cooking. Once you’ve finished at the market, it’s back to the cookery school and straight into the kitchen with your fresh ingredients, where you’ll get to grips with some of the equipment and utensils used when cooking Thai food, such as a wok and a pestle and mortar. Your teacher or class leader will then take you through the various stages involved in creating each dish. It could be that the school allows you to cook whatever Thai dish you like but it’s more commonly the case that the school will have a set menu, alternating throughout the week which will determine exactly which dishes you shall be making. When you have finished cooking, you then get to sample all the great food you have made! Some schools will also give a certificate of completion, recipe books and other souvenirs such as aprons. For those who take their cooking a little more seriously, many of the cooking schools on Koh Samui will offer a variety of different courses, which can even include one to one tuition and intensive week long programs, which are geared more towards professional chefs or those working in the food industry. Thai cooking classes will almost certainly be held in English, normally from a Thai chef with professional experience, with some even having worked and lived overseas. Here is our round up Koh Samui’s best cooking schools.
Pai’s Cookery Class
Located in Chaweng Beach, Pai offers fun and informal Thai cookery classes, perfect for those looking for an introduction on how to make Thai food. Whilst Thai cookery classes are normally held daily during the high season, Pai’s classes are often by appointment only so please make sure you contact her well in advance to avoid disappointment. For more info: <Pai Cookery Samui
Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts
The Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts is not only one of the best cooking schools on Koh Samui, but is renowned throughout Thailand and has been sharing the secrets of fine Thai cooking for more than a decade. SITCA offers a professional, friendly environment where you can get to grips with the intricacies of Thai cuisine. Get to know your Som Tam from your Tom Yum in SITCA’s modern and air conditioned facility. The institute offers a range of different courses, with half day classes available from 2,250 Baht per person. It also offers classes for private groups, starting at 1,950 Baht person with a minimum of ten people attending. For the professional chefs, there are 6 and 12 day intensive courses with prices starting at 52,500 Baht and 105,00 Baht respectively.
Spirit House Cooking Class
The Spirit House Spa and Restaurant in Chaweng Beach provides a luxurious insight into traditional Thai culture. This popular resort also offers Thai cooking classes from its professional in-house Chef. Each class teaches you how to prepare an appetizer and main course from its authentic Royal Thai cuisine menu. After which you get to sample the delights of your labors, as you tuck into the very say dished you have been involved in creating. Some of the dishes which are available for you to try your hand at include Red Duck Curry, Tom Yam Goong and Crispy Coconut Prawns – delicious!
Sonja’s Thai Cooking Class
Sonja provides Thai cookery classes in both English and German and offers 3 different courses available to small groups of between two and four people. Course 1 starts at 10am and lasts for approximately 2.5 hours, during which you’ll learn how to cook a soup, a starter and a famous Thai curry. You’ll also receive a starter pack to take home so you can put your new found skills to the test. Course 2 starts at 1pm and lasts for 4.5 hours, with students learning to cook 5 dishes from Sonja’s extensive Thai menu. Course 3 starts at 4pm and could be a good gift for those looking to do something different when celebrating a birthday or other special event. Sonja also has her own garden where she grows the fresh herbs and vegetables which are used during the cooking class.
The Passage Samui
The Passage Samui Villas and Resort offer daily Thai cookery lessons (apart from Sunday) with prices starting from 750 Baht per person for one dish. Located in the tranquil Laem Yai Beach on the northwestern tip of the island, the resort has a large and varied menu of dishes which are demonstrated by one of its expert chefs in what is a fun and relaxing environment. Upon completion of the class, attendees will receive a souvenir apron, recipe card and a Thai cooking class certificate.
Sandalwood Thai Cookery Class
The restaurant at the Sandalwood Samui Resort offers beginner and intermediate cookery courses which present traditional Thai food with a modern twist. Each of the courses can be taken one on one or in small groups. Lessons begin with a trip to the local market before returning to the kitchen to prepare a meal with your freshly bought ingredients. The Sandalwood also offers a course for couples who want to learn how to create the ultimate romantic dining experience. A traditional fruit carving course is also available.