Thai Cooking Class at Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi  |  Chiang Mai, Thailand  |  So this morning after breakfast I met with one of the chefs at the Le Grand Lanna restaurant of the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai, and together with Nathan Fong, renown Canadian with base in Vancouver Food Stylist and Food/Travel Journalist, Host and Columnist, we head to the local markets to begin a morning full or scents, flavors and lots lots of Chilli.
So our private car took us all three to the local food and fruit market, where we spent over 1 hour and a half searching and browsing by every single stand, and trying as much as they would offer us. I felt a bit intimidated at first being the only one of the bunch not being an expert in cooking, I mean I can hardly distinguish a tomato from a plum ha ha ha…. So I decided to follow the expert comments from our host/teacher Chef, and Nathan’s who is an expert in Asian Food.
What still strikes me about Thai people and the markets, is that they EAT everything and anything that moves or grows on the face of the earth ha ha ha ….. I think that if you still long enough in one place, they will even consider eating you (and I am not talking about a gay club ha). But I was very clear since the beginning with my teacher, I do not eat Beef, Pork or anything that jumps, swims, runs or flies that is not a chicken breast, fish or shrimp/prawn or sea fruit. I know I know, I am boring and limited.
After a long morning exploring, and eating as much as possible, be headed back to the hotel and the stunning Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Thai Cooking School. State of the art and fully equipped kitchen. And we were presented with our duty for the day. Yam Nue Yang A-Ngun, Tom Kha Khai and Goong Kra-Tiam Prik Thai…. exactly I looked at her and said… WHAT ?
What a bunch. If all I can say is that we had lots of fun. I knew I was in disadvantage from the beginning, so I relaxed and did the best I could, without burning or injuring myself and third parties. The most important and basic ingredients for THAI food are Fish Sauce, Palm Sugar, Lemongrass and lotssssss of Chilli. My own personal flavors are the Coriander, Coconut milk, Kaffir Lime and the many type of mushrooms.
My own personal Yam Nue Yang A-Ngun or in latin ha ha ha spicy chicken salad with grapes and mint dressing. Fancy fancy meee. Time 20 minutes. Injuries none.
Goong Kra-Tiam Prik Thai – prawns with garlic and pepper sauce and Tom Kha Khai – Coconut soup with chicken and lasser galangal. Hey everyone, if you need the recipes let me know I have them all. The worst part was that I have to eat them ALL. !!!!
Great experience. Either a guest of the hotel or not…. you should try it. Will take you a full morning, and on top of that you will get to see the fabulous Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi. (photo below is me with one of my new THAI addictions, the Sticky Rice) CM

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