Sunshine Coast Thai Cooking Class with the Sacred Chef
Yesterday’s Sunshine Coast Thai Cooking Class with the Sacred Chef was a great success. It was an extended family affair, organised by local Maleny patriarch, Ian Williams, and was a lovely gift to his children, friends and ex-wives. Group cooking classes like these can be very enjoyable for a whole host of reasons.
This lively group of five ladies and one culinarily well versed gent, were ready and able to cook up an eastern storm; with plenty of fish sauce and lime juice to rain down upon our palettes. I started the day earlier, by collecting some banana leaves from my tree for one of the dishes we would be preparing – Poached Chicken in Banana Leaves. Ross cut the leaves into smaller segments ready for wrapping later, as the last few stragglers arrived for the 11am class.
We greet cooking class attendees upon arrival, and after a few pleasantries distribute their recipe packs, aprons and bottled water – I am a great believer in staying hydrated in the kitchen. Then they make their way to the bathroom for the hygienic washing of hands before entering the cooking studio and finding a place at the kitchen bench. Chopping board and a sharp knife awaits them at their station.
There is usually a brief spell of chaotic energy as we all find our speed and sort out who is up for what – who can hack the sting of onions and the smell of garlic; who can wield a knife with a degree of competence; and of course the teacher might be fumbling about with menus and recipes; bowls of ingredients and produce; and finding his own speed. There is no forcing of anything here, we find the path of least resistance for all involved and work our way to a very enjoyable day.
So what was on the menu?
Hot & Sour Seafood Soup
Poached Chicken Thigh Fillets in Banana Leaves
Salted Pineapple & Cashew Nut Salad
Fragrant Noodles with Prawns in Chilli Jam
Snapper Fillet with Ginger & Chinese Greens
Grilled Thai Style Chicken Wings
Nam Jin Sauce
Bananas in Coconut Cream with Black Sticky Rice
Once we had prepared all these dishes the six cooking class participants were joined by Ian and three more guests for a sit down Thai banquet for ten. Glasses of chilled Pinot Grigio and mineral water were handed round and the Sacred Chef cooking school chefs began assembling and plating up soups and a sequential dispatching of dishes. It was hot in the stir fry kitchen and the chilli levels may have been a little fierce in the first course for some guests, but things calmed down with subsequent courses or perhaps they acclimatised. Great food and good conversation at table, a recipe for a really good day.
Plus you can mix and match a menu to your particular tastes or your groups.
The Sacred Chef would like to acknowledge David Thompson, Australia’s greatest Thai food chef, for some of the recipes used in this cooking class – and to also say that he fondly remembers David from his Newtown, Darley St days.