A cooking class by the beachfront
I didn’t care much for Thai cuisine a few years ago. All my attempts at enjoying a Thai meal were sabotaged by lemongrass. It was everywhere, I couldn’t get past it. Years later I will learn that, like Indian food, Thai meals occasionally have ingredients that aren’t meant to be eaten; they’re used for the flavours they bring to the meal and must be ignored once on the plate. How an ingredient is cut speaks volumes, and I will learn that lesson when I take a Thai cooking class three years later. But in those early days of my ignorance, I let an unpalatable taste (and a habit of ordering the same meal every time) stop me from adventuring into Thai cuisine.
And then a few years ago, I visited Chiang Mai. In the food capital of Thailand, discovering a new appreciation for Thai cuisine was inevitable. That holiday, I ate. Oh, how I gorged. When I returned to Thailand last year, I looked forward to reliving my delicious memories. But my itinerary took me far from the food haven in the North and deeper into the touristy southern islands. When a recommended activity for Ko Lanta involved a Thai cooking class, I booked myself in.
Time for Lime Restaurant runs a daily cooking class that gets glowing reviews on Wikitravel and TripAdvisor. Just off the shore on Klong Dao Beach, the restaurant was a 15 minute walk from where I was staying.
What I liked most about the cooking lessons taught at Time for Lime was that each student got their own cooking station. Most cooking schools teach meal preparation via cumulative effort: attendees form groups where each member helps in a different part of the meal prep. Junie Krovacs, the owner of Time for Lime, has structured her cooking lessons in a way that students learn through individual practice. They prep all the ingredients and cook the meals in their assigned cooking station. I chose to learn at Time For Lime because I wanted my prepared meals to be a sum of my efforts.
I learnt to differentiate an ingredient’s edibility based on its size, why some ingredients work better than others, and how to recreate similar flavours back home using locally available products.
They teach a different menu every day of the week. The day I took the class, Monday, we learnt to cook: Miang Kam (a leaf-wrapped snack), Stir-fried vegetables (on a blazing hot wok!), Thai Spring Rolls, Red curry paste from scratch, and Fish curry.
A cooking class is a crash-course on the local food you’ll (hopefully) be eating. The one at Time for Lime was the perfect mix of culinary education, local history, and fun. It ran for about half a day and was worth every baht spent.
1 Class : 2000 Thai Baht
Prices have increased as of Nov, 2015. I took the class during Aug 2015 for 1600 THB (off season)
HOW TO BOOK
Show up at their restaurant at least a day before (off season) and pay the booking advance. During high-season, you’ll probably have to pay the full price in advance to secure your place.
Check their website for more information.
72/2 Mo 3, Klong Dao Beach, Saladan, Ko Lanta, Krabi, Thailand, 81150
Phone: +66 75 684 590