I agree with all the excellent reviews. Aon was a great host and teacher. We can't wait to put our new skills to use, just as soon as we find kaffir lime and galanga in our local stores!
We thought we would be in a group class, but as it turned out, we were the only students on that particular evening. This was an unexpected treat because we got his full attention, although I'm sure it would have been equally fun cooking and partying with a crowd.
Aon picked us up from our not-so-easy-to-find bed and breakfast. From there, he took us to the market and gave us a very thorough orientation to the local ingredients typically used in Thai cooking, and told us about the regional foods, including the sausage with jalapeno chili and the pork cracklings. From there, we went to his home and his teaching kitchen. It is an outdoor kitchen, which we loved. As we began the class, I was struck by how orderly and clean everything was. I thought I was obsessively clean in the kitchen, but Aon's vigilance made me a bit nervous to make any kind of a mess. I loved it.
We really appreciated his method of teaching, first he demonstrates, then students cook at their stations, then everyone sits at the table to eat their dish. This way, we cooked while the demo was still fresh in our minds, and we ate while the food was hot and we could critique our creations immediately. It also gave us time to digest a bit before the next dish.
For us, the highlight was making the chili paste and our chili dishes. Green for my companion and red for me. It was so exciting and fun to learn how to make dishes we are so fond of ordering at Thai restaurants at home. It was labor-intensive, but the result was fantastic. By the last dish, the stir-fried chicken cashew, I was too full to eat much.
So bring your appetite and get set for a fun evening in Aon's kitchen!
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