As our tastes in food become more cosmopolitan, many of us are inspired to seek ways to bring flavours from far-flung parts of the world back into our own kitchens and spark a revival in our tired palates.
These days, many holidays offer the chance for visitors to learn how to prepare dishes local to your stay in a traditional way and give you a completely different experience that you can take away with you from your trip.
Try out one of these fabulous cookery courses and bring home something that lasts a little longer than your holiday suntan.
Vietnam – Hoi An
The Vietnamese city of Hoi An sits on the shores of the South China Sea. A perfect fusion of Vietnamese tradition and French colonial styles, the city was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999 as a perfectly preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port dating back to the 15th century.
The city has beautiful terracotta colored buildings and winding streets that seem peaceful even at the height of the day. With narrow gaps between buildings there are few vehicles that make it into the center of the city and the most traffic you’re likely to encounter is a market trader with a flock of squawking chickens in a cage tethered to the back of a moped.
Hoi An has a number of cookery schools to teach you the traditional methods of preparing delicious Vietnamese cuisine. The best of these is Green Bamboo Cooking School. Your day with the school begins early in the morning when your guide and tutor will collect you on foot from your accommodation and walk with you through the buzzing fresh fish and fruit and vegetable markets, selecting the produce you will use in preparing your meal and explaining where the food is sourced. Returning to the cookery school with your ingredients, you will then have a range of 47 dishes that you can learn to cook under the guidance of the chefs at the cafe.
Once your meal is cooked, you get the chance to sample that and those dishes made by your fellow students. All in all, it’s a fantastic introduction to the colour and flavors of Hoi An.
Thailand – Ko Lanta
Anyone who’s visited Thailand will attest to the incredible experience of the food they had whilst they were in the country. Thai cuisine is based on the concept of balancing the four flavours of sweet, salt, sour and spice. Much of the food is very spicy, but there are plenty of milder options. The one thing that all the food you’ll eat inThailand, whether it be a gourmet meal or a quick snack from a street vendor, is the fresh flavour. All produce is exceptionally fresh and most Thai food is cooked quickly to preserve the taste. The Thai people also use relatively little oil and combined with plenty of fresh fish and vegetables have extremely healthy and nutritious diet.
The Krabi province in Thailand is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt places in the world. With a host of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, the mainland area and islands are teeming with wildlife, natural hot springs and mangrove swamps. Amongst them is Ko Lanta Yai – known simply as Ko Lanta – is a peaceful, beautiful island with unspoiled beaches that are a haven for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of life. If you are visiting Thailand, why not book an apartment through Owners Direct.
Whilst on the island, take a cookery course at Time for Lime cookery school. The owner and tutor at the school is a true Thai food enthusiast who has been running the school and teaching guests for 24 years. The school provides all the fresh ingredients you’ll need to create a delicious Thai feast and, once you’ve made your Thai meal, you can sit in the restaurant on the edge of the beach and watch the sea as you enjoy the fruits of your labors.
Everyone wants something to remember their holiday, and what better way than to bring back the skills to create a holiday meal back in your very own kitchen?