Kaohom Thai Culinary Cooking School

Kaohom Thai Culinary Cooking School

Kaohom Thai Culinary Cooking School
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180/1 Chiang Mai - Mae Rim Rd., Moo 1, Chiang Mai 50180 Thailand
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

22 reviews
Very good

Adelaide, Australia1 contribution
Before travelling to Thailand with my two sisters, we talked about wanting to attend a Thai cooking class, so I was given the task of surfing the net to find the best one in the Chiang Mai area. I must have read about a dozen or more cooking schools, but after reading the reviews written on Kao Hom Thai Culinary Cooking School and visiting their website, we decided to give them a try. And boy, we are so glad we did.

It was one of the highlights of our 3 week trip to Thailand. Even one of my sisters who is not an avid foodie, had a wonderful day and was most insistent that we take photos of her so she could prove to her friends back home that she did actually learn how to cook a Thai meal.

As the school is located about 20mins drive out of Chiang Mai, it was great that transport was provided. We chose the morning class and we were lucky that it was just the 3 of us that had booked in that day. However, there is only ever a maximum of 8 in the class anyway, so it is very personal. When we entered the driveway of Kao Hom, we knew immediately that we were going to have a wonderful day. The setting for the school is in a lovely country garden complete with outdoor kitchen, eating area and herb garden. Tim (the hostess) was there to greet us most warmly and made us feel relaxed and comfortable from the outset. She explained everything in detail and was a delight as an instructor. She was very encouraging and genuinely appeared to enjoy her work. She reminded us very much of a Thai "Martha Stewart" as her attention to detail and perfection, not just with her cooking, but with the table setting, the garden, the outdoor kitchen and the magnificent vases of freshly cut roses (from her father) were second to none. Very classy.

We were all given crisply pressed aprons to wear and set about preparing our first course. We made shrimp toast with cucumber relish which was so delish that I would have been happy to have it as the main meal. Tim's staff were all female, very professional and well organised. They were extremely quiet and often we did not even notice them clearing and resetting the table or setting out the ingredients for the next course.Their assistance did not interfere with our prepartion of dishes but merely complimented it, giving us extra time to concentrate on learning the skills of Thai cooking. It was an added bonus that we didn't have to measure ingredients, wait for woks to heat or clear away any dishes.

After each course (of which there were four), we would retire to the beautifully set table in the garden, under a big shady tree to sample our efforts. We were constantly provided with refreshing glasses of iced tea and water throuhgout the whole day.

The next dish we made was a green mango salad with crispy morning glory. One of my favourites. This dish was so tasty, that it was easy to think we were dining in a 5 star restaurant and yet we had made the food. It really was that simple.

The next dish was main course of Green Chicken Curry which I have made plenty of times back home, but it was a few simple tricks that Tim showed us that made such a difference to the end result. The fact we were given a very professional folder with all the recipes at the end of the course, will help me to re-create this food at home for family and friends.

The 'piece de resistance' was dessert. Mango with sticky rice. Even though I was full from the other 3 courses, there was no way I was going to forgo this one. That reminds me, DO NOT eat anything before you go to a class. Unfortunately, we had all had a big breakfast that morning. The dessert was served in little square baskets made from banana leaves and held together with slivers of bamboo, complete with a flower on the side. We not only made the most yummy food, the presentation of each dish was considered just as important. One of my sisters remembers her Home Economics teacher from school (30 years ago) saying that 'presentation is 9 tenths of the meal'. Very true.

After we had finished our superb meal, it was time to return to Chiang Mai. Tim's staff came to bid us farewell and we were returned to our hotel, very full and very content.

If you are planning on travelling to Chiang Mai and want to attend a cooking class, look no further than Kao Hom. Save yourself the effort of surfing the net looking for the best school, the best price etc, because this is it.

10 out of 10 for absolutely every aspect. Do yourself a favour and do not miss this opportunity. As I said, it was a truly memorable and a most rewarding experience that I will definitely do again when I return to Chiang Mai.

Tim, if you happen to read this, I hope you are still running the school when I return one day. Good luck and thank you for such a fun and enjoyable day.

Best Wishes

PS, The school is open 6 days per week with classes in the morning and evening. Each day, the menus are different.
Written March 14, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Los Angeles, CA4 contributions
When planning our honeymoon to Thailand, we knew that we wanted to go to a cooking school at least once. A friend had recommended a place to go, but upon arriving in Chiang Mai, the concierge at the hotel introduced two additional schools to attend. Between our three choices, Kaohom' seemed like the best place to go, and we do not regret our decision at all.

Set in the country side of Chiang Mai, away from the hustle bustle of the city, my husband and I were able to enjoy every minute of it. The whole experience started with transportation service from the hotel to the school and back. The school is set up on private property, where it grows a lot of its own vegetables and spices used for the classes. It is a beautifull setting. We went on a sunny day and we were able to cook in the covered outdoor cooking area, and it was absolutely perfect.

The owner Tim is amazing and a wonderfully entertaining instructor who clearly enjoys her career: cooking, teaching, leading her students and her employees. It is an exceptional school where you feel right at home. Upon arriving, we were introduced to Tim and sat down at the covered, outdoor kitchen's island to cook. It was great because there were only four students, and we each received personal attention from Tim. We had a four course meal mapped out for us, and we would sit down with all the supplies necessary neatly laid out in front of us and began to follow Tim's lead as she told us either a story about the dish we were preparing or something about the utensils or Thai herbs that we were using. Her attention to detail was amazing. She fielded questions masterfully, and her assistants were efficient with helping us through our tastks. The class flowed smoothly. We would completely prepare a dish including fun garnishes for presentation, go out to the garden, sit down, enjoy the fresh food we just prepared, and then return to the kitchen to start the process of preparing the next dish until the four dishes were completed and happily devoured.

The environment was superb from the outside kitchen to the quaint garden we ate in to the beautifully tended garden housing herbs and vegetables. Outside of the cooking aspects, Tim also taught us to make banana leaf boxes and carrot flowers used for garnish. It was a tremendous experience. If only we had spent more time in Chiang Mai, we would have gone back to learn more. The school is open Tuesday-Sunday, and for each day she has carefully prepared six different menu so that you can have new experiences if you really want to delve into Thai cooking. Alas, we did not have the time. However, we highly recommend that you check it out. It will definitely be worth it.

Now that my husband and I are back home we can't wait to practice what we've learned. The school prepares a great take-home package of the recipes that we worked with. Happy learning!
Written April 6, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Atlanta, GA5 contributions
Kaohom Thai Culinary Cooking school is an absolute must for anyone traveling in Chang Mai interested in Thai cooking. The setting for the school is stunning. Kanchana who runs the school and teaches the classes is a gem. She has a passion for cooking and has to be one of the hardest working people I know. The classes are a few dollars more per person than other cooking schools in Chang Mai, but absolutely worth it. There is TREMENDOUS attention to detail. Kanchana's team of assistants are delightful and do all the prep work. You get to spend time cooking, eating and having fun!
Written June 14, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

melbourne1 contribution
My husband and I visited the Kaohom cooking school last year. It was the most expensive cooking school but it was beautifully presented, recipes were great and food delish. The host on our day was a woman and here are the things we didnt enjoy:
- she tried to push her products on to us (tamarind paste, grater) and when we didnt buy she got angry.
- she didnt want us to eat what we cooked, we could only have one forkful and then she would take it away. We didnt understand and thought maybe this was the Thai way, but then I went to the toilet and saw her giving our food to her Burmese employees for lunch out the back. I questioned her about it and she said that they were Burmese not Thai and that was their payment for working there for the session. I was really angry and it spoiled my experience.
- it was a great experience but her exploitation really put me off.
Written July 14, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sydney2 contributions
What a stunning experience! I have done a few cooking courses, two in Chiang Mai, and there is simply no comparison, Kao Hom is by far the best.

If you are put off by paying a few extra baht, please do yourself a favour and invest those few extra beers in this, you will not begrudge them a single baht! They deserve so much more.

The day was perfect. We cooked in a patio style kitchen in a lush green garden, everything beautifully and stylishly finished. Brand new facilities. A small intimate group, like a personalised master class. Everything was done with such professionalism, care and attention. Our hostess Tim was not only a wonderful professional chef, she had a wicked sense of humour, spoke beautiful English and took the time to make sure our experience was special and unique. She takes all the classes, and nothing was too much trouble for her and her team.

It couldn't have been more different from the "cheap and cheerful" identikit cooking classes in Chiang Mai city, where a robotic assistant barked orders at us and left us in a great deal of confusion with little help! And I haven't even started on the food! No greasy noodles and ho-hum stir fries here. Every dish was gourmet standard, even though most of us had never cooked before! The recipes are fresh and interesting. Attention was paid to the little things like presentation, relishes, extras, and all dishes still so easy to prepare.

We hardly noticed Tim's wonderfully hardworking assistants buzzing around us, clearing away and bringing us the next ingredients. We spent our time cooking, learning and being treated to a truly great experience, rather than chopping and sweating, cool fresh iced teas all the way.

At the end of our class, eating lunch in the garden, our entire group booked in again for the weekend class! I cannot say enough positive things, it was just magical.
Written October 5, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paris, France4 contributions
We really loved taking a cooking class at Kaohom. We had hands-on instruction, and the staff and owner were terrific. It is in a beautiful private setting with a garden, and they provide transportation to and from your hotel. Not to mention the food was GREAT!!!!

It was a really unique experience during our time in Thailand, and we felt it worthy of a posting. For those of you travelling soon - enjoy!
Written March 11, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Arkansas14 contributions
My wife and I spent a the month of November in Chiang Mai. We decided to try a cooking school. Online I found good reviews of this school. Their website looked so slick, I was afraid it might be a big affair that ran a lot of people through. We decided to try it and boy was I wrong. This is a great place to learn fine cooking skills under close personal supervision plus the food is absolutely wonderful. The school is very clean. The teacher/owner is a very knowledgeable cook and wonderful host. She has her own garden so we used very fresh ingredients without wasting time going to the market. After taking classes for two days we had many skills and great recipes we could use at home. My wife even decided to take a 3rd class while I was working the following week. I'm not even the main cook in our family but I thoroughly enjoyed the classes. If you want a wonderful authentic cooking class while you are visiting Thailand, I think you couldn't find a better place.
Written January 23, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bethesda MD11 contributions
I agree wholeheartedly with the other reviews of this cooking school -- although Kao Hom is slightly more expensive than most of the Chiang Mai cooking schools, it is more than worth it. This was one of the highlights of my trip. I would highly recommend Kao Hom for a number of reasons, including:

(1) the class size is limited and you feel like you are getting a lot of one-on-one instruction

(2) the garden setting of the cooking school is gorgeous

(3) the length of time/number of dishes is just right -- long enough to get a good sense of Thai cooking but not too long

(4) the food is incredible (and, as an aside, the iced tea that they serve is out of this world)

(5) the teacher ("Tim") is very personable and an excellent teacher
Written November 27, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Seattle, WA1 contribution
We had a truly memorable time at Kao Hom and it was one of the highlights of our trip to Thailand. If you are staying in the city, it's a great way to spend an afternoon outside Chiang Mai. The class price is higher than some of the other cooking schools, but well worth it. The dishes are delicious and best of all you get to enjoy what you've cooked in the beautiful park-like setting. The classes are small and very interactive. Regardless of your culinary background (most of us had none), Tim and her team make you feel very comfortable. This was an unforgettable experience!
Written November 24, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Thousand Oaks, CA46 contributions
Last month I spent two days at the Kao Hom Cooking School in Chiang Mai. Lucky me—I was the only student both days! (Ordinarily, Tim, the owner/teacher has more than one student at a time, but I was there during the slow season.) She is a fun, classy lady with extensive knowledge about Thai cooking and an excellent command of English. I was picked up at the hotel in town and taken out to a lovely oasis far from the noise and traffic of the city. We would make a dish, eat it, and then start in on the next one. Most of the tedious preparation and cleanup was done by her quiet, efficient helpers. It was a great experience, and I can't wait to make a Thai dinner for my family.
Written June 3, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Kaohom Thai Culinary Cooking School (Chiang Mai) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go