Guests who rent a private luxury villa in Thailand you can pick up plenty of skills from the in-house chef – from the basic principles of Thai cooking to the fine art of food presentation.
As well as soft sand beaches fringed with palm trees, misty mountain scenery and a plethora of intriguing cultural attractions, Thailand’s culinary treats are a major highlight that attract visitors back to the Kingdom time after time.
Whether you’re dining in a top class restaurant or tucking into a meal prepared by your villa’s private chef, there’s always a tasty new dish to try and many visitors keen to take the tastes of Thailand back to their home countries book onto cooking lessons while they’re on holiday.
If you’re staying in one of Thailand’s luxury private villas with the services of a private chef available, why not set up an impromptu cooking class, or even arrange for a series of classes? It’s a unique chance to get some one-to-one guidance that is sure to set you on a path to greater culinary creativity.
Below are some Thai cooking essentials to spark your interest.
Due to the abundance of fruit, vegetables and herbs that grow in the Kingdom of Thailand, fresh produce is the key component in all Thai cooking. Flavoursome herbs and spices – limes, coriander, galangal, chilli and ginger to name a few – form the base of many tastes we typically associate with Thai food, so if you’re keen to cook regularly at home, it’s worth having your cupboards stocked up with these at all times. Your private villa’s chef will be able to teach you what all the essential staples are, and could even take you on a trip to the local market so you have a full understanding of a tasty Thai feast, from the farm to plate.
Preparation is Everything
Whether you’re a complete beginner in the kitchen or an accomplished amateur chef, it’s always helpful to see how the professionals do things. Your villa chefs will be able to provide top tips on how to prepare Thai food, whether that means how to prep rice so it comes out perfectly fluffy, or how best to chop your herbs and vegetables for a flavourful stir fry. The exquisite presentation of food is also important in Thailand so you might even be able to learn more about how to artfully arrange garnishes and carve fruit to give your meals the extra wow factor.
Feast of Flavours
Many Thai dishes are based on creating a delicate balance of four key flavours: sweet, spicy, salty and sour. In many Asian cuisines, the salty flavour comes from soy sauce but in Thailand, fish sauce is more commonly used instead. The sour infusion usually comes from lime and lemongrass, balanced out by a sweet kick provided by a bit of brown sugar. Of course, the fiery flavour comes from chilli, but there are a lot of layers on top of this to give each dish its unique character. Once you’ve got the base right then you’re well on your way to preparing an exquisite Thai meal.
Crafting Thai Dishes
Once you’ve got the basics covered, your villa’s chef will be able to teach you more about how to make specific dishes. In fact, one of the best things about a private cooking lesson is that you’ll be able to request how to your favourite dishes rather than having to stick to a pre-prepared programme. Of course, Pad Thai is always a favourite dish for many guests to try and prepare, and it’s fairly easy to get this one right. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not have a go at preparing your own rich paste to create a delectable Thai curry?
As well as creating Thailand’s favourite dishes like Pad Thai or chicken with cashew nuts – your villa chef will also have a few secret recipes up his or her sleeve, which they even teach you. For example, Ban Suriya in Koh Samui has its own signature grilled chicken dish with a delectable marinade crafted by the in-house chef. If you’re planning to host a Thai-themed dinner party when you get back home, learning a few unusual recipes could be a great way to impress your guests.