One thing I’ve added to my 101 List is to learn Thai cookery. It’s so thoroughly and deliciously complex, looks so very beautiful and is a wonderful vehicle for consuming tons of healthy vegetables and lots of yummy seafood.
It’s also a cuisine about which I am almost completely ignorant. I love it, but rarely stray from Pad Thai, Tom Yum Soup and Red Curries on the menus; never cook authentic Thai at home (though here’s a stab at inauthentic Thai) and have never been to Thailand.
For the purposes of the list I defined my goal as completing six workshops or classes on the subject over the next three years. I know that Thai cooking is as complex, if not more so, than French cuisine, but I figured that six workshops would be enough to give me a somewhat reasonable grounding.
The class in Thai Comfort Cooking I took at PCC in Greenlake was perfect for a beginner like me. The amazing teacher Pranee Halvorsen, is a lovely Thai lady from Phuket, despite the Norwegian married name. She took us through four courses of a Thai comfort food feast, with detailed recipes and wonderful stories, chopping and stir frying all the while and patiently answering all our questions.
She showed us her favourite products, talked about specific Thai techniques and ingredients, offered substitutions for difficult to get items and demonstrated how to make garnishes and ingredients such as sauteed shallots, crushed chilli peppers, vinegar and jalapeno condiment and dark soy sauce, and then served out each dish to eighteen people, so we got a fabulous lunch along the way.
By a huge coincidence Pranee had been a student with me at Jackie Baisa’s photography workshop, so she very kindly let me take photographs throughout the class. Again the overhead lighting was flat and unforgiving, but the dishes were too exquisite (and exquisitely delicious) not to look amazing whatever the photography.
I’ll be attempting to cook all of these dishes over the next few weeks so there will be recipes and more pics coming. In the meantime feast your eyes on these pics.