My husband and I did the half day class and reckon it was one of the best experiences we had in Vietnam. with great food, friendly guide and the quietly spoken chef with a keen sense of fun. This was one time in Vietnam where we felt we were able to relax and not get hassled by hawkers and have s chance to enjoy meeting and engaging with the locals and experience Vietnamese culture.
We were picked up from our hotel and taken to Hoi An markets where our guide took us to various sellers for fresh produce - talking about different ingredients and pointing out how to tell which ingredients were fresher than others. The class can accommodate vego and GF (we're neither) but if you are vego beware as you will go through the meat sellers (s'pose you could wait outside). Then our ingredients were whisked away to the class and we enjoyed a boat ride up the river, followed by transit to the village in a row boat through smaller channels filled with water palms. From there we went to a villagers home to husk rice and make rice milk in the traditional method. After that we picked some fresh produce from the garden and started to cook in the specially constructed cooking hut. The cook demonstrated each dish and then we repated this at individual portable gas stoves (there were six people in our class). We did 4 dishes - rice paper rolls, rice noodle soup, crispy pancakes and noodle salad. This is really cooking for dummies as nearly all the prep is done for you, but putting it all together still takes some skill and the chef, guide and assistants all step in and help as soon as they see you veering of course. The food was fantastic and the chef a real hoot with her mimed safety warnings. Plus they have the "Magic Table" - better experienced than explained! Once it's all over you get driven back to town.
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