How to wow guests at your next dinner party? Master the complex mix of spicy, sour, salty, and sweet flavors that define Thai cuisine at a cooking class with Island Organics. Husband and wife team Cameron Hansen, an Australian photographer, and Thai-born Rattanaphorn “Lat” Dokduang, a cooking enthusiast, welcome aspiring chefs to their lush farm to learn about classic Thai dishes. It all began when the couple set out to transform their one-acre property into an organic Eden. Interest in their self-made garden—and the incredible bounty—grew locally, and the idea for a cooking school took root. With the exception of meat and seafood (ethically and locally sourced), and the rice (from Chiang Rai), every ingredient is grown on site. Class begins by trailing Lat through the property to pluck Thai eggplants for green curry, gather peanuts for pad Thai, tear up kaffir leaves for seasoning, and pick native fruits like papaya, roseapple, and starfruit for dessert. Students then work at individual wok stations whipping up yellow curry with prawns, ground pork salad, or vegetarian spring rolls. Reserve a spot well in advance (via email) for the classes held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. The private classes, hosted Tuesdays and Thursdays, are ideal for families. If you feel like staying in, the resort offers a daily "Thai Cooking Class" for both guests and non guests from 3 to 5pm.
Located an hour’s drive from the hotel, Island Organics can be hard to find, so take advantage of the cooking school’s hotel pick-up services to avoid confusion with a GPS-less cabbie. Otherwise, arrange transportation via the hotel concierge.
ISLAND ORGANICS: 24/1 Moo 4 Chaweng; +66-89-731-6814; islandorganicssamui.com