The sweeter side of Thai food

Despite a little bump in the edible road last week, Thailand’s food is changing my perspective for the better.

I like Thai dishes. I like pad thai, fried rice, curry, coconut milk soup, mango sticky rice, banana fritters, thai ice cream and bananas in coconut milk just to name a few. I like them all, but what I love is watching locals prep, cook and stage these dishes.

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I love meandering street markets and watching the locals slave meticulously over each dish as if it were a piece of art — and often it is. I’ve been memorized by markets and vendors for weeks and Monday I got a hands on lesson in the culture behind this incredible food.

At an all-day cooking class on a farm outside of Chiang Mai, a kind, passionate, joyous, energetic and hilarious Thai woman taught me about the art behind these scrumptious dishes. (Shout out to Garnet at Thai Farm Cooking School. I paid full price for my class today so this is a truly honest and unbias commentary.)

Thank you Garnet for a magical day!

I felt connected to my food, to the food I’ve been eating in Asia and to the lovely people making it. It was refreshing to smash fresh garlic chive in my hands before smelling and tasting an incredible herb I’d just picked out of the ground. I can’t wait to get home and attempt to recreate some of my favorite recipes for friends and family. But as a little teaser I’ll leave a few delectable photos likely to leave you drooling for your own Thai cooking experience.

Fresh ingredients for a spicy papaya salad.
Fresh ingredients for a spicy papaya salad.
Garnet shows us the oil oozing from coconut at the morning market.
Garnet shows us the oil oozing from coconut at the morning market.
Coconut milk soup with chicken, my personal favorite dish of the day.
My coconut milk soup with chicken, my personal favorite dish of the day.
Garnet shows us how to properly roll a spring roll.
Garnet shows us how to properly roll a spring roll.
My cutting board with fresh basil leaves.
My cutting board with fresh basil leaves.
Thank you Garnet for an awesome experience.
Garnet working on some spring roll stuffing.
Up close and personal with my green curry.
Up close and personal with my green curry.
My meal: cashew chicken with white rice and green curry.
My meal: cashew chicken with white rice and green curry.

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Our beautifully staged prep trays.
Our beautifully staged prep trays.
Pea eggplant from the morning market.
Pea eggplant from the morning market.
Papaya salad.
Papaya salad.
My spring rolls.
My spring rolls and dipping sauce.
Garnet showing off her skills.
Garnet showing off her skills.
Green curry made and plated by me.
Green curry made and plated by me.
Blue coconut milk dyed with a flower picked at the farm mixed with palm sugar to mix with the mango sticky rice.
Blue coconut milk with palm sugar dyed with a flowers from the farm to coat the sticky rice.
Garnet strains the blue syrup while we all try to get the shot.
Garnet strains the blue syrup while we all try to get the shot.
Mango with blue sticky rice and coconut cream.
And the final product, mango with blue sticky rice and coconut cream.

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