One of the must-do activities when in Bangkok is to enroll in short culinary courses or take cooking classes. You will learn how to recreate popular Thai dishes from scratch and be taught by experienced teachers or professional chefs even if you are not knowledgeable in the kitchen. I don’t have a lot of experience cooking other cuisines so I was especially excited for this.
Deciding which cooking class to take was a bit overwhelming since there were a lot of schools to choose from. All of them offered the same services and promised a wonderful culinary experience for their students. I really couldn’t pick one at first, until I read the wonderful reviews and saw pictures of Baipai Thai Cooking school on TripAdvisor.
BAIPAI THAI COOKING SCHOOL
Accredited by the Ministry of Education of Thailand, Baipai has an ideal home-style learning environment unlike other cooking schools in Bangkok. It is located in a wonderful serene place, away from the crowded streets of the city. This open air school is a two-story house locally furnished with wooden decor and has a beautiful garden nearby where they grow their own vegetables.
BOOKING AND RESERVATIONS
Baipai’s online booking does not require you to make a deposit or downpayment. It will only ask you to secure your reservations by choosing your available dates and course details by sending them a confirmation email online. You can choose whether you want to take a private or half-day cooking classes with them. You have also have to specify whether you have diet restrictions and/or food allergies so they can prepare the menu ahead of time.
After booking a half-day cooking class that costs 2,200 baht per person, I received an acknowledgement that my reservation will be confirmed within 48 hours. True enough, I got a confirmation email from them a day after and it had all the details about the class and a contact number for me reconfirm my spot at least 48 hours prior to the reserved date.
The terms and conditions of Baipai Cooking School regarding reservations:
- Reservations shall be made in advance at least 24 hours prior to the class.
- Reservations are subjected to availability at time of booking.
- Rates or price are subjected to change without prior notice.
- Baipai reserves the right to change menus and schedule if necessary.
THE BAIPAI THAI EXPERIENCE
Here’s what makes them different:
- The complimentary shuttle pick up service that took us to Baipai Thai Cooking School was great (albeit being late on the agreed meeting time). I can’t blame them. Traffic was really terrible that day. It took away the stress of having to find its location since it’s tucked away in a residential area in Bangkok.
- It was mentioned on their website that their rates already include shuttle fees, government tax and use of ingredients as well as their cooking equipment and I find that reasonably priced at 2,200 baht. We were only asked to pay 2,000 baht since there was an ongoing promotion when we booked our reservations online. So, keep an eye for those discounts!
- The school uses English language as a medium of teaching for non-native Thai speakers. They speak the language well enough for you to understand and learn cooking techniques you can use everyday. No need to worry about language barrier.
- They have a lovely open kitchen and several cooking stations for the students set in a traditional Thai house. They have prepared the cooking equipment that we will be using to make the dishes. I love how everything is organized this way (individually) so that students won’t have fight over the tools.
- And because I took a group cooking class, I was able to meet new friends or should I say fellow “students.” We were asked to introduce ourselves to each other before our cooking class started. It was nice to get to know a little bit about them and why they decided to spend their vacation here in Thailand. Some were food enthusiasts, others were here for the experience!
- We were then introduced to assistant June who gave us aprons to wear and made us familiar with Thai herbs and spices in the little garden next to the house. I love how they also made us smell and taste the unique flavors that are common in Thai dishes. I think this way is better than going on a market tour offered by other cooking schools.
- Next, we were introduced to Chef Eye. She was our teacher and host of our cooking class that day. All of us were given copies of the recipes as a guide, but Chef Eye made sure each dish that we recreate was taught step by step so that we actually learn how to recreate them should we prepare them back at home for our family and friends.
- We got to eat our self-cooked meals all together after each session. We were given about 10-15 minutes to finish our meal and return to the kitchen to start working on the next dish. The fact that the school has an idea home-style learning environment different from most hotels and restaurants turned cooking schools in Thailand, it very felt relaxing.
- Photos are taken during the sessions. It’s usually the assistant who takes them (so watch out for that person so you don’t get unglamorous candid shots like me haha!). I was given a hard copy of photo they took of me while cooking to keep as a souvenir. They also sent me all the pictures via email.
- The whole staff of Baipai Thai Cooking school is very professional, fun and thoughtful. I would definitely recommend this activity to friends. I won’t mind booking another cooking class with them and learn other Thai dishes should I come back to visit Bangkok again in the future.
OUR MENU FOR THE DAY
We first prepared our dessert, Egg Custard, so we could steam and let it cool while we work on our main dishes. The taste was quite similar to Leche Flan, however its texture was a bit different. Next was the classic appetizer called Thai Golden Bags. If you’re a newbie in the kitchen like me, you’ll find it quite hard to tie the wonton wrappers with pandan leaves (or was it chives?). But don’t worry, the teachers will help you if they see you having a hard time with it.
The main star of the menu, Tom Yum. I think this was the hardest to replicate because of its broth. A lot of fresh ingredients are needed to produce its distinct hot and sour flavor such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal (ginger), lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed chili peppers. Last was Green Curry — easy to make, but took a lot of our time and patience making the fresh green curry paste from scratch. We had to pound the ingredients together to form its paste texture. Anyway, we enjoyed it with a serving of rice and iced tea.
Check out my 5-day Itinerary in Bangkok to see the must-visit places of the city!
BAIPAI THAI COOKING SCHOOL
Morning Class: 09:30 – 13:30 hrs | Afternoon Class: 13:30 – 17:30 hrs
Address: 8/91 Ngam Wongwan Road, Soi 54, Ladyao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
Hotline: 089-6606535 | Office phone: 02-5611404 | Email: email@example.com
School closes on Sunday and National Public Holidays