After spending an amazing 10 days in Thailand this April – taking in as much Vitamin D the sun had to offer, devouring the finest Thai dishes, slurping down mango smoothies at any given opportunity, I didn’t want the trip to end! (Who would? After all, London missed the Spring memo yet again!)
The minute our plane landed in London post-holiday blues gave me the warmest welcome, I was left with no choice but to reminisce. Which was until I was invited to a Cooking Masterclass at Patara Thai Restaurant Wimbledon (Check them out here).
*angelic voices begin to sing Hallelujah!*
You could only imagine how chuffed I was when I saw it was Thai Cooking Masterclass with Thailand’s Top Chef winner Chef Tam! The fact that no flights or passport renewals were needed to experience an authentic Thai meal – just a tap of the good ol’ oyster card right down to Wimbledon. This kicked my post-holiday blues right in the butt!
Upon arriving, all guests were greeted with the most refreshing Lemongrass tea, a mini goody bag which contained an apron, a cute chef hat (which I will now be wearing every day to feed my chef dreams), recipe card and bag hanger.
We were escorted to the outdoor seating area which had been transformed into mini kitchen stations – with cooking utensils, ingredients and a portable hob (it made me feel like I was on Ready Steady Cook, I was way too excited). We were really lucky to have decent weather, the sun was shining down on us! The kitchen stations were laid out perfectly, we had Chef Tam in the centre and our stations surrounding her so we could see what she was doing.
Demonstration & Cooking
Chef Tam would show us how to cook each dish from her station, also giving us the opportunity to take notes, pictures and taste test (everyone’s favourite part). Then, we would go off into our groups of 2’s & 3’s and cook the dish at our station. Once we finished cooking, we got to eat what we prepared (another favourite). I definitely appreciated the way Chef Tam would demonstrate one dish at a time, instead of doing everything at once as I can be very forgetful so I don’t even want to imagine how the food would’ve turned out if that was the case!
The menu consisted of 4 traditional dishes:
1) Tom Yum Goong (Hot and Sour Soup w/ Prawns);
2) Chao Wang Salad (Crab Salad);
3) Thai Green Chicken Curry;
4) Tub Tim Krob (Thai Red Ruby Dessert)
I loved every dish we cooked, but I must say that the Thai Red Ruby Dessert BLEW me away like no other! The ‘red rubies’ are water chestnuts dunked in beetroot juice for colour and coated in tapioca to give it a dumpling shape/texture, it is then served in a coconut milk sauce with shaved ice. It’s BOMB and a perfect dessert for summer.
A Cooking Tip To Remember
A great tip Chef Tam gave us: When cooking Thai Green Curry, use chicken legs and thighs as it produces more flavour and doesn’t easily overcook like Chicken Breast. Also, you should leave the curry to simmer for a few hours as it intensifies the flavour.
I had such an AMAZING time cooking at Patara with Chef Tam! It really kicked my Thailand holiday blues in the butt.
I loved that the menu was simple and not too complex, but also full of flavour! Chef Tam always had tips on how to make the dishes authentic, where to find certain Thai herbs in London and how to balance the seasonings in every meal! We also got a good hands-on experience when cooking then dishes, which was great as we did not just sit and watch the whole time.
I had a blast and met the coolest people (especially my group, the winning team) – I cannot wait for the next cooking class!
A big thanks to Chef Tam for showing us how to cook authentic Thai dishes in a modern way, I’ll be a Thai Cooking connoisseur before you know it!
Also, a big thanks to Patara for inviting me to the Thai Cooking Masterclass!
About Chef Tam
Chef Tam was the very first winner of popular US-TV show “Top Chef” in Thailand. She takes a modern yet authentic approach when it comes to cooking Thai food.