The Wickedfood Cooking School team felt like James Bond as we raced for 45 minutes in a lang tailed banana boat, down rivers and klongs from Bangkok to the Thai House cooking school. As we sped along we observed ordinary Thai River people going about their daily business, washing clothes, dishes and even themselves in a river. On the way you will passed large banana plantations from which nothing is wasted in Thailand – the fruit, leaves and even the flowers are used in salads. Floating markets feature women selling fresh herbs and fruits, cooking unfamiliar and strange looking dishes in painfully confined spaces, and all the while deftly manoeuvering their boats down narrow lanes. Dotted along the riverbanks, one can see the magnificent golden temples, looking totally incongruous between the humble wooden river houses built on stilts.

img_2_bTotally bewitched by this colourful world we arrived unexpectedly at the Thai House – an imposing and handsome, custom-designed teak house built in 1990 by 25 craftsmen who worked and lived on the premises for one year. The unmistakable wing-shaped rooftop was inspired by temple buildings, and the walls, stairs and rooftops display intricate traditional carvings so characteristic of Thailand.Ganaral-03

The cooking classes are conducted in a relaxed and informal manner at an open-air kitchen and the prepared food eaten after the lessons. The outdoor classroom is surrounded by banana, papaya and coconut trees and a garden full of fresh growing herbs and spices used in the recipes. The Thai House can also accommodate about 12 guests to sleep over while attending courses that can range from one to five days.

Cooking schools in South East Asia

Thai House cooking school Bangkok • Thailand

Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School Thailand

Red Bridge Cooking School Hoi An • Vietnam

Books reviewed by Wickedfood on Asian food:

Secrets of the Red Lantern

Kylie Kwong: Recipes and Stories

A Passion for Thai Cooking

Balance & Harmony, Asian Food

Great Asian recipes – Click here:

Chicken feet


Kaeng kari ka – yellow curried chicken

Phanaeng Beef Curry in sweet peanut sauce

Phat Thai

Tom yum kung

Green pawpaw salad

Fish head curry

Warm squid salad in a pineapple

Spiced pork spare ribs

Deep-fried silken tofu

Thai beef salad

3 Cup Chicken

For other articles on South East Asia see:

A Taste of Thailand

Floating markets in Bangkok

Must try Singapore dishes

The ABCs of Singapore food

Singapore hawker food centres

Vietnamese cuisine


Wickedfood Cooking School

Sunninghill – (011) 234-3252

Wickedfood Cooking School in Johannesburg runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). This team building venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.

Our classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and teambuilding cooking classes these classes are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.