A Thai Cooking Class with Chef Anchalee in Four Season Hotel

On a Thursday, March 13, 2014 I woke up to find the skies grey and crying beautiful crystallized rain… it was cool and I felt peaceful. I dressed up and went to buy breakfast and some flowers. I was planning my day in my head, but suddenly I reached a bookstore and time flew by, I wanted to go to Four Seasons hotel early, do my hair and look presentable, but when I glanced at my watch panic took over! I knew if I don’t go home now, change and hurry to the hotel I will be late for my Thai cooking class.

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I reached the hotel 20 minutes earlier than my appointment, so I went to Emad Bazzi’s salon and requested Ziad with an impossible mission: “Ziad, I need you to make my hair look beautiful in less than 20 minutes, without washing and drying.” He looked at me and went down to work. In 20 minutes my hair looked divine! Fluffy, puffy and glamorous! I loved it!

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I went to the lobby and was greeted by our hostess Yasmin Sati, the Director of Public Relations of the Four Seasons Hotel, we smiled at each other and she said: “I was afraid its going to snow! It always snows when you visit!” I laughed at that because it was true.

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I met my friends in the Asia, the Thai restaurant in the hotel, the decorated for us and made us cooking class stations, it looked amazing and so real! I felt like I was on Food Network! We were around 10 people, there were chefs, sous chefs and many PR people watching us.

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I was partnered up with a lady I’ve never met before, and how glad I am that I got to be her partner, not only is she a great cook but she has a wonderful spirit and we connected instantly! Her name is Manal Obieda and she is also a food blogger, mommy and a wonderful human being.

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As we looked through the folders that were handed to us, I saw that our lunch is going to be amazing. I love to try new things and cuisines, and by the end I had a few favorites. Here is the menu:

Cooking Class Lunch

Soup
Gai Tomnarm Pla
Boiled chicken with fish sauce and lemongrass

Main Course
Planueng Manaow
Steamed sea bass fillets, ginger, chili and lime sauce

Phad Thai Goong
Fried rice noodles, prawns wrapped in egg net, tofu, bean sprouts, spring onion, crushed peanuts and tamarind sauce

Dessert
Sakoo Piek Kaow Phod
Tapioca pearls, sweet corn and sweetened coconut milk

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We cooked some of that and were tutored by Chef Anchalee Luadkham. The recipes are so detailed so I won’t add them in this post, I will add each of them separately.

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Each two partners got to cook and help each other prepare Pad Thai and Steamed Thai Dumplings which are called “Pun Sip Neung”. I did well in the pad Thai but the dumplings were so much harder than I expected. You see the method of filling and the wrapper style is SO hard and the dough isn’t like our food, it’s sticky like a gum!

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One of the sous chefs couldn’t stop laughing at my miserable attempts to make the perfect dumplings… he took mercy on me and helped me (I doubt I would’ve eaten them otherwise!)

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On the other hand the Pad Thai was interesting; I’ve always wondered how do chefs make those delicate nets over some food, and guess what? I made one! It was not only good, it looked beautiful, I felt sad eating it!

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One of the funniest things that happened through the class is that (as usual) I almost fell! A girl kept destroying her Pad and making her egg fall all over the place, suddenly while moving around I slipped (it didn’t help that I was in heels!) the French chef saved my neck! I squealed like a bird!

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As we sat down to have our lunch after washing our hands in warm towels we were giving the soup. It was strange and delicious. Just like the juices that kept going around.

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We then ate our main course, one created by us and the other by professionals, all through lunch Manal and I couldn’t stop talking. We talked about food, kids, family, love, heartbreak, marriage and books… almost everything… it just felt as if I knew her ages ago.

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My favorite dish was the dessert, apparently everyone knows what tapioca is but me, I LOVED it! What is tapioca?! Seriously? Even if it was fish eggs I would definitely try it again!

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After almost everyone left, Dina BataynehZayna Hamarneh and I headed to the bathroom, afterwards I fell on the stairs again! Yes!! God, I’m blushing even remembering this! Dina saved me! I’m such a klutz!

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But seriously, I guess this event is among my favorites! I did something that was on my wish list for the longest of time: going to a cooking class! Thank you Yasmin for making one of my wishes come true! Can’t wait for what might come next! I absolutely loved the small gift you gave us, I still like to smell it from time to time.

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