When you think of Thailand, you think of the golden beaches and green islands of Phuket, the cityscape of Bangkok and the glistening temples scattered across the country. Most importantly, though, you think of food staples that have permeated into every countries eating habits and culture. The Thai cuisine is expansive and far-reaching, that the phrase “Thai green curry” could as easily transport you to the dining table of your favourite dinner host in London as it could a street market on the Chao Phraya River. So here are some cookery schools in London where you can learn the tricks of the Thai-cooking trade.
1. School of Wok
If there is one thing you remember about cooking schools in London, it is that School of Wok is where to b-line for if you are looking to learn about Asian cooking. Their Thai course, like all their others, is a great, all-inclusive way of taking what seem like complex meals and making them in less time than you thought was possible.
There are a number of courses available, depending on what you are looking for. There is a brand new introduction to Thai cooking, where you will cover all the basics and get your taste buds relishing the flavours. Alternatively, though similar in style, is the vegetarian introduction to Thai cooking. In a similar way to Indian cooking, and largely as a result of the sauce-dense meals, Thai food is a great option for vegetarians. Unlike some meat-orientated cuisines, Thai food is all about the spice combinations. If those intro courses just are not enough to satiate your hangering for Thai delights, then the full-day course is the one you want to be attending. Everything from curries, soups and salads to using a clever for chopping is covered in this all-encompassing tribute to Thai cuisine.
Contact: 020 7240 8818
Address: 61 Chandos Pl, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HG
2. Lamai – Thai: School of Authentic Thai Cookery
The secret’s in a name – this is where to head for lessons in authentic Thai cookery. The school delves into the science behind the cuisine, showing how to make up to five courses of Thai delicacies. They also have a restaurant area, as well as the opportunity to take private cooking lessons, so whether your intentions are to try as many Thai foods as possible, or learn how to cook as much of it as possible, this is an unmissable stop.
You will spend your afternoon cooking and learning, and hopefully gaining momentum and inspiration for all the meals you will prepare in the future now that you have learnt the fundamentals of Thai food. What is really great about the skills they will teach you here, is that they are transferable. You won’t go home with the skills to make only five dishes – you will go home with the skills to make a great number of Thai meals.
Contact: 020 8347 8457
Address: Highgate Road, London NW5 1RL
3. The Avenue Cookery School
The Avenue Cookery School has cultivated a solid list of all the Thai favourites and condensed them into a two-course class to ensure anyone who takes it leaves feeling comfortable in their ability to rustle up a Thai meal from home. The two meals are chicken or vegetable satay and
Thai red prawn (or vegetables) curry with noodles.
Not only does this class teach you the recipes, techniques and knife skills needed to perfect these dishes, but it also gives you tips on plating and presentation, transforming you from home-cook to dinner host in London.
Contact: 020 8874 7623
Address: 3 Enterprise Way, London SW18 1FZ
4. Cookery School at Little Portland Street
This course exemplifies the variety available within Thai cooking. Yes, it shows you the ropes when it comes to your favourite curry recipes, but it also shows you how fresh and healthy this cuisine can be. It is the flavours of Thai cuisine that remain at the crux of the cuisine, relying heavily on the balance between the herbs and spices. That will be outlined and fostered within your style and technique throughout the day.
The course includes recipes and the necessary techniques to prepare Thai bean salads, prawn soups, Thai fish cakes, delectable dipping sauces for freshly fried spring rolls, jasmine rice, fish dishes and much more. Upon arrival, you will be presented with a Thai snack while the teachers debrief you and give you a little bit of history about the cuisine and the day ahead.
Contact: 020 7631 4590
Address: 15 Little Portland St, Marylebone, London W1W 8BW
5. Food at 52
Food at 52’s Thai Cookery Class is extra special because it is dairy and gluten free, meaning it really is an option for most people with dietary requirements. This school will make sure you are sent home with not only a big pot of Thai green curry for you and your family to devour, but also enough of a basic understanding that the next time you crave Thai, you make it yourself rather than calling for a take-away.
Though all the ingredients are provided for you on the day, the class will also inform you of where you will find all the ingredients used once you leave. Unfortunately, not everything will be in your local supermarket, because some of the dishes are quite exotic flavours. Fortunately, however, all the ingredients are available in Asian supermarkets, which are local to most areas. People do not always realise how varied and diverse Thai cooking is, or only know of a couple of very famous dishes. This course expands that knowledge and makes sure you get a real spectrum of flavours from the dazzling country where they originate.
Contact: 07814 027067
Address: 96 Central St, London EC1V 8AJ
The moral of the story here is: if you are looking to enhance, further or even start your passion for Thai food, London is the place to start. From there, it will just be a constant journey for you becoming the dinner host in London that everyone is talking about. From cookery schools focusing on the cuisine, to other well-established institutions offering it as one of their courses, you can trust that any one of these courses will send you home more adept than when you arrived. They will probably all send you home with a load of Thai food, too – so dinner is sorted!