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Tamarind Restaurant cooking school (Luang Prabang, Laos)

When Neil and I arrived in Bangkok (he from Toronto and me from Sydney – good flight coordination meant we arrived within an hour of each other), we both excitedly pulled our articles we had saved from Thai Airways’ in-flight magazine about cooking schools in Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang where we were going to have a “free day” on our trip – both of us had the same thought – “Perhaps we can do a cooking class?”

Turns out we were able to enroll in what appeared to be one of the best – at Tamarind Restaurant.
According to the website, Tamarind’s philosophy is to use only the freshest, local ingredients and to give back to the community by supporting local producers and suppliers. It was started by Caroline, an Australian, and her Lao partner Joy. As well as the tiny restaurant (below), they also offer Lao feasts and cooking classes.

Neil and I signed up for a “riverside cooking class”, described as follows:

Lao cuisine relies heavily on the freshest produce and incorporates a range of intriguing flavours, many unfamiliar to the western palate. We start with an early morning tour of Luang Prabang’s major food market where we investigate these ingredients and explain their uses. At our charming riverside location you then prepare and cook an assortment of dishes under supervision, then sit down to enjoy them in our garden setting. Recipes are provided for you to take back home…

Now obviously this day’s activities are too numerous to fit into one post so this will continue over a number of days, culminating in the August 30th post outlining our Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 dinner which will most definitely have something to do with this experience…

In the meantime, I leave you with some photos which unfortunately do not do the cooking school justice. Set by a river in outdoor wooden pavillions, it was a magical way to spend a day.

We started out with a lovely ginger tea with lemongrass:



The ingredients awaiting their fate!


The “ovens”. Seriously.


We made sure to wash our hands before we started.


And put on an apron (which had a convenient pocket to hold my camera!).

Then we wandered over and checked out the ingredients.


Mountains of spring onions.


Chilies à go-go!


Garlic.


Shallots (rather unexpected but their flavour worked well in the dishes we used them in).


Baby eggplant.

Be sure to check back over the next few days to watch the adventure unfold and especially on Sunday August 30th to see how we incorporated this theme into our Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 dinner

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10 Responses to Tamarind Restaurant cooking school (Luang Prabang, Laos)

  1. Neil C. Phillips August 27, 2009 at 11:23 #

    Hopefullt Mardi will not get sick this Saturday, as she did in Laos near the end of the cooking — and therefore did not eat anything we prepared… :-(

  2. eatlivetravelwrite August 27, 2009 at 11:43 #

    Well as it's going to be 19 degrees and raining, I doubt I will be dehydrated and overly hot….

  3. penny aka jeroxie August 27, 2009 at 11:49 #

    Lovely! I love the ginger tea with lemongrass. Looks really refreshing.

  4. TasteHongKong August 27, 2009 at 17:18 #

    This also reminds me of a Thai cooking class I attended during a trip to Bangkok as well. I did Tom Yam (spicy prawn soup), Fried Dumplings.
    We were also served with a drink made from lemon grass and sugar before the class began.
    Though not of a 5-star type, it was still a remarkable experience.

  5. Lauren August 27, 2009 at 18:29 #

    So neat! I bet this cooking class was a ton of fun :).

  6. eatlivetravelwrite August 27, 2009 at 18:31 #

    Keep reading Lauren – over the next three days there will be LOTS more – and recipes!!

  7. Kate August 27, 2009 at 20:01 #

    I love that you had a free day so you took a cooking class! This looks wonderful!

  8. eatlivetravelwrite August 27, 2009 at 20:02 #

    It was awesome – you barely even noticed the time passing!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Travelling with a foodie | Food Bloggers of Canada - July 18, 2012

    [...] about the food of a new country is to take a cooking class.  I took my first “on location” cooking class in Luang Prabang in Laos just 3 years ago and since then I have been hooked. One of the first thing I do after I’ve booked [...]

  2. Travelling as a foodie | Food Bloggers of Canada - July 18, 2012

    [...] about the food of a new country is to take a cooking class.  I took my first “on location” cooking class in Luang Prabang in Laos just 3 years ago and since then I have been hooked. One of the first thing I do after I’ve booked [...]

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