You can get to know a country better through its food, culinary flavors, and traditions. Therefore, traveling is the best school to fill our kitchens with new flavors. There are more and more gastronomic travelers, and also more culinary experiences designed specifically for them. From visiting local markets accompanied by experts; to signing up for short courses with great chefs or visiting famed restaurant kitchens. In much of the world, we find courses and gastronomic workshops available to everyone. These are some clues for cooking traveling, or traveling cooking, all over the planet.
Vietnam’ s culinary experience
The Vietnamese art of street cooking
Traveling from north to south of Vietnam is a geographical and gastronomic route; that begins in China and ends in Southeast Asia. Cultural and geographical differences also create a great diversity in flavors, techniques, and ingredients. And everywhere, the street becomes a showcase of seemingly simple dishes that hide good doses of sophistication.
Hoi An, in the center of the country, has become the epicenter of Vietnamese cooking courses. Almost all restaurants offer classes, from simple courses in a private courtyard to gastronomic schools. In the Green Bamboo Cooking School, an accomplished chef offers personalized courses in a very spacious kitchen; which will allow us to prepare a complete menu. Another option is Morning Glory, a pioneer school in this type of course. Trinh Diem Vy runs it; is also the owner of several restaurants in the city. They focus on local recipes such as cau lau and “white rose”.
In the Hanoi Cooking Center, we can also receive excellent classes; very interactive and with a visit to the market included. For those traveling as a family, it has a children’s club for children to learn too. Another of the most interesting things is its walking circuit to explore the culinary scene of Hanoi; and lunch in an elegant restaurant where your classes conclude.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, we can attend the courses of the Grain Cooking Classes. Australian-Vietnamese chef Luke Nguyen coordinates them; and it includes the preparation of a four-course menu, depending on the season.
Thailand’s art of cooking
Exquisite stoves in Chiang Mai
The exquisite Thai cuisine is one of the most appreciated tourist attractions for those who visit this Asian country. Local chefs love to share their secrets and take students to the market to explain each ingredient.
Chiang Mai is the perfect and most popular destination in the country to learn Thai cuisine. You can choose from many schools – also vegetarian and ecological. They teach the visitor to prepare a curry paste, soups, sauteed, curries or puddings. The courses are usually one-day modules. Usually, all the schools teach techniques and ingredients; there is also a combination of visits to local markets or walks through herb gardens.
The best classes are those taught in improvised community kitchens on farms around the city. One of the first schools created in Chiang Mai is the Chiang Mai Thai Farm Cooking School. It is managed by a national television celebrity, chef Sompon Nabnian. Classes are taught in a rural setting outside the city; where the founder offers a special master lesson in the afternoon. But there are many other schools, such as Asia Scenic Thai Cooking, Gap’s Thai Culinary Art School or Baan Thai.
Another good place to get into the secrets of the perfect tai pad or green curries is Kanchanaburi; specifically in the courses at Apple & Noi’s Thai Cooking. Almost all the ingredients used are organic and of proximity and chef, Khun Noi helps distinguish between a som dam and a sun yam. Its course is very popular; and begins in the market to finish four dishes later with a tasty dinner prepared by all.
Much more than sushi
Japanese cuisine is in fashion all over the world. Who else, who at least dares to prepare noodles, sushi and onigiri, get out of the yaki -soba and definitely make friends, can sign up for a quick course. There are them all over the country, but maybe Kyoto is the most suitable place to get into Japanese stoves. For example, Uzuki, a small school in a Japanese house, is highly recommended. It offers cooking classes for groups of two to four people. In the course, you’ll learn to prepare various dishes and then sit down to taste their work.
Another option is Haru Cooking Class , a nice cooking school in a private house located north of Demachiyanagi . Classes are given in English; and teach to prepare vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes after a guided visit to the Nishiki market .
In Tokyo, there are many options. Such as Tokyo Cook, with all kinds of courses (vegetarian dishes, shojin-ryori temple food, soba preparation). They are given in English in the Sougo restaurant, specialized in vegetarian cuisine of Buddhist temples.
Learning cooking with the dice
Moroccan cuisine happens to be one of the best in the world. Far beyond the popular couscous or tajines, the range of flavors is huge. From cooked vegetable salads and stewed meat to low heat to puff pastry with orange blossom water; and many other sweet specialties that certainly remind of southern cuisine from Spain.
For anyone who speaks a little French, it can be a real treat to attend a Moroccan cooking course. They are taught in some schools but also in restaurants or in private hotels. Such as La Maison Arabe, well known for its courses in which both professionals and debutants participate.
The most popular dishes are tajín and couscous. Also maakouda (potato fritters), dipping sauces and a vegetarian tajín. All of these are available through varied courses that showcase Moroccan traditional food.
Other interesting cities to visit for this purpose is Fez, also in Marrakech. Clock Kitchen offers similar experiences. On the coast in Essaouira, in L’Atelier Madada chefs can teach how to prepare even cakes and Moroccan pastry, with classes in French and in English.