Jennifer Gampell
868/75-76 Soi Vanich 2
Songwad Road
Bangkok 10100 Thailand
Tel/Fax: (66) 02-237-3362
Mobilex: (66) 01-925-7187
Web site:




August 13, 2001

Hot Spot

It's much easier to find great food in Bangkok than good cooking teachers. While most big hotels hold classes or occasional special courses, only the Oriental Hotel, tel: (66-2) 437-6211, has a school. More demonstration than hands-on, the $480 four-day program ($120 per class) covers regional Thai specialties and haute cuisine. The Oriental will, however, soon be joined by the Peninsula Hotel, tel: (66-2) 861-2888, which is opening a sister academy to its Hong Kong branch later this year. For those reluctant to spend too much holiday time in class, the Nipa Restaurant at the Landmark Hotel, tel: (66-2) 354-0404, offers two daily five-recipe lessons (at $45 per session).

A bit of careful planning can prove rewarding. Those who time it right can try the Pai-Kin-Khao Culinary Expedition held in the elegant museum at Jim Thompson's House, former home of the American silk entrepreneur and Thai arts promoter who disappeared mysteriously in 1967. Bimonthly workshops ($100 including dinner) feature a local chef who shares his expertise on a particular facet of Asian cuisine (fusion, curries, salads). After each talk, students cook and can invite their friends (at $27 each) to a wine-tasting and dinner party in the stylish surroundings. Check out for more details. And for those able to travel, it's hard to beat two courses outside the capital. The Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School wins rave reviews for its hands-on classes in northern Thai cuisine and hill tribe culture ($20 a day, $95 for five); log on to or tel: (66-53) 206-388 or 208-287 after 6 p.m. Or if you like cooking on the beach, there's the Samui Institute of Culinary Arts on Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui (from $20 a class); look up or call (66-77) 413-172 to book.


Copyright 2002 Jennifer Gampell