Thai Cooking Course Hua Hin: A “unique” experience with Khun Beau

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Khun Beau

According to Khun Beau, unique is the word for the cooking of Thailand. 

And for a memorable day learning skills and easily repeated recipes that you can use in your daily life, there is no better thing to do that joining Khun Beau for her delicious Thai Cooking Course. 

And with a choice of four menu options, there is nothing to stop you repeating the experience. A friend of mine treats all her guests from overseas to a day with Khun Beau, and there are certainly no complaints.

And ladies, bringing along your partner might inspire him, and give you a night off cooking occasionally.  If you have a partner who loves eating, this could be a revelation for him.

The day begins with a guided tour of Chatchai market to view the wide array of produce available each morning right in the very centre of Hua Hin.  Whether you want meat, seafood, farm-fresh eggs, fruit and vegetables, tantalising herbs, spices and ingredients for curry pastes, you won’t be disappointed with this 100-year-old market.

Seize this opportunity to ask about those items on sale that are not so familiar to the western visitor.  Our market guide, Ray, has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the things you may not even recognise, and is able to tell you exactly what it is, and how it is normally used in Thai cuisine.  You will be astounded at the variety of items available, and all at prices that are much less than you will be used to paying.

Many westerners in Hua Hin have experienced cost savings when comparing food prices to what it costs back in their countries of origin, but those who attend Beau’s classes leave with skills which allow them to achieve great dishes at home, even if they have to do a bit of substitution when it comes to the ingredients, a process Beau is happy to guide you through.

After a very welcomed cold water at the end of your market experience, a short trip takes the day’s guests back to the airy, traditional Thai teak house on Soi 19, north of Hua Hin central, where the cooking school has had its home since 1999, and welcomed thousands of satisfied students.

Upon arrival, it is time to don aprons and listen as Khun Beau describes and then demonstrates our first job of the day, the chopping and then pounding necessary to turn some fresh ingredients into the best curry paste you have ever tasted. Each of the four menu options begins with its own curry paste, which is pivotal to the first dish.  We made Penang curry paste and it was sensational. We then proceeded to cut and chop all the vegetable ingredients we would use across the menu.

Whatever the menu for your group, you will get to make the curry paste, 3 dishes and a dessert.  Although I took Beau’s advice and ate only a very light breakfast, I found I cooked more food than I could eat, as the portioned ingredients made for very generous helpings.

The purpose-built cooking stations and lots of staff meant that the day’s course ran like a well-oiled machine, where Beau demonstrated and supervised as we prepared our dishes under her eagle eye, returning to the table to eat each one and discuss them with our classmates. 

Our group of 9 students had a family from the United States, a Swiss lady, a man from the UK and another Australian lady. 

Beau tells me that she is often booked to the maximum of 12 participants, up to 7 days a week in high season.  But that can’t be helped when you rate so highly on Trip Advisor I suppose!

Khun Beau with daughter Emily

Since it is currently school holidays for her, Emily, Beau’s almost teenage daughter, was also on hand helping out in the family business. 

At the end of the course, with very full stomachs, were all awarded a very stylish gold embossed certificate outlining our achievement, and got to take home a booklet containing 3 pages of colour illustrated Thai ingredients, including their Thai names and usage and the recipes of all the dishes we had made. Seamless and foolproof.

I can’t wait to have overseas visitors so I can try a different menu on my next visit. 

For further information and bookings visit www.thai-cookingcourse.com

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