Walking into the Krua Thai Cookery School is like being welcomed into a friend’s home. You are immediately set at ease and ready to begin the human tradition of exchanging stories, food and cultures. In the safe hands of Chef Rujira Herd – a Thai Cuisine specialist who regularly caters to the likes of Hilton International and world famous chef Albert Roux. Chef Ru is a kind and gracious host instantly making you feel welcome as she tells you stories from her travels.
You’re guaranteed to get a high quality three-course lunch alongside lots of Thai cuisine knowledge
The workshop was composed of Chef Ru, her assistant and six of us students, eager to learn, but perhaps more eager for the lunch included in the event. Sidenote: the meal comes towards the end of the two-hour workshop, so don’t arrive starving or the cooking aromas will drive you crazy. We begin with considering the element of presentation and its importance in Thai cuisine, Chef Ru shows us some of her food carving finesse with a gorgeous floral-designed watermelon and fantastic little flowers made from radishes. Then it’s time to get the aprons on. Most of the workshop is done by demonstration but there are also plenty of opportunities for tasting and a few opportunities to get your hands dirty. The kitchen demonstration section – although a little unstructured as we jump between different elements for the three courses – is informative and piques your appetite, as everything smells delicious.
This year’s workshop includes a starter of Geiw Grob (pork wontons with a homemade tamarind sauce), a main course of Tom Ka Gai (Galangal soup with chicken and coconut cream served with basmati rice) and a simple but delicious dessert of Tang Thai (chilled melon with a pandan sugar syrup and coconut cream). All the recipes are to take away with you, to try making at home. The main element of activity is folding your own crispy wontons. Something that Chef Ru’s deft hands look easy doing, but mine were a little informal, to say the least. Once they are fried, you are given the task of presenting your wontons on a dish and I have to say I’m pretty proud of how restaurant-worthy my dish looked. The highlight of the meal has to be that gorgeous Galangal soup which was so smooth and delicious. Definitely one to try for myself when I get home.
So, although you don’t get to participate much, it may be for the best as it means you’re guaranteed to get a high quality three-course lunch alongside lots of Thai cuisine knowledge you can use to impress your friends. Chef Ru is so sweet and charismatic and really drove the fun into the whole enjoyable experience.