AD – PR Experience. The class at MK Cookery School was a complimentary experience.
Cooking is one of my favourite ways to relax and spend time with Dan. I just love that you can start with a selection of ingredients and turn it into something totally delicious. During lockdown, it was our favourite way to distinguish the weekend from the rest of the week (other than a bottle of wine…) We’d spend several hours on a weekend cooking up something extravagant and feeling incredibly smug and comforted by our efforts. East and South East Asian is one of our favourite cuisines to cook. You might remember last year we made Bao which was super fun. So when Bhav from Milton Keynes Cookery School invited us to try one of the half-day cooking classes during September, booking ourselves onto the Thai course was a no brainer!
We love the sweet, spicy, fresh flavours that come with Thai cuisine, but it is one of those cuisines that we either enjoy eating out at a local Thai restaurant or have mid-week from a packet. As with most cuisines, once you have a cupboard with the right ingredients, you can cook anything from scratch and it always tastes so much better fresh. I was really excited to learn how to cook Thai food and share my experience at MK Cookery School with you all.
About MK Cookery School
MK Cookery School (formerly Inspired Gourmet) is located in Broughton. It’s owned by Bhavna Patel who took over the school a few years ago. She is a former chef and teacher herself and invites various professionals from the culinary world to teach students like us to cook a variety of cuisines from around the world includingMexican, Japanese, Spanish and of course, Thai. You can also learn to cook fresh pasta with MK-based MasterChef UK contestant, Sofia Gallo.
MK Cookery School also puts on courses for skills, like knife skills and basic cooking skills which run over a few weeks. If you want to become more proficient in the kitchen, then this is a really great place to start. There is something for every skill level and it’s a fun way to meet new people and learn something new.
Each class has the capacity for around 16 people so you can do it with friends or on your own. Corporate and team building packages are also available for the cookery school, so it could also be a fun work social or even Hen party!
Half Day Thai Cooking Class at MK Cookery School
The Thai cooking class is half a day from 10am – 2pm – so no need to worry about your lunch! Our class was led by Carolina, a professional chef. There is an upcoming class on 6th November with Panida from local business, Thai Home Cooking. Carolina started off by introducing us to Thai cuisine which gave us a great insight into why we were using each ingredient and what it contributed to the dishes. Thai is balanced with four flavours: Sweet, sour, salty and spicy. We were going to be introduced to these flavours by making four signature Thai dishes – Thai Green Curry, Pad Thai and Thai Sui Mei (dumplings).
First up, we made the Pad Thai, which as you know is a speedy Thai stir fry. The trick is to chop everything in advance so you can whack it in the hot pan for it to be ready in a few minutes! It was great to understand how to make it from scratch because Pad Thai is something we love but always buy from a packet. With a few stock cupboard ingredients like tamarind and fish sauce (both available from supermarkets or oriental supermarkets) Pad Thai is really easy to recreate at home. Carolina showed us how to adjust the saltiness of the sauce by adding a touch more fish sauce to our taste, as well as balancing out the sweetness with sustainably sourced palm sugar or honey.
Next, we made a Thai Green Curry. Carolina showed us how to make the curry paste from scratch which was actually really easy, and something we have already recreated at home! This simple paste consists of green chillis, coriander, lemongrass, shallots, garlic and a pinch of a secret ingredient to give it an authentic Thai flavour. The best thing about the Thai green curry paste is that you can make a huge batch and freeze it for use later. We added a few spoonfuls to a pan of coconut milk, which provided the sweetness and let it cook down for a while before adding chicken and green vegetables. It was delicious and something we will definitely continue to make ourselves as it was so cheap and easy! The hardest thing is actually getting hold of Lemongrass, as it’s not really sold loose in many supermarkets, but I managed to find it at Central Oriental in Bradwell Abbey. You’ll also be able to find it at Hoo Hing in Bletchley.
My favourite thing to eat from East and South East Asian cuisine is definitely dumplings so I was really excited to make these traditionalSui Mei. You can buy the pastry easily from oriental supermarkets, so the most you have to do is make the filling. We finely chopped prawns, garlic, ginger and shiitake mushrooms before adding them to a bowl of minced pork. We made little cups with the dumplings and added the filling before steaming them for 10 minutes. Carolina made us a spicy dipping sauce so we could enjoy our dumplings for lunch. They were delicious and something we’ll definitely make again at home. They were super satisfying to make and very tasty so there were none left for us to take home…
It was so much fun learning to cook Thai food at MK Cookery School. We had a really nice group of people too, some who had come as far afield at Stevenage! Once you have cooked your food, you sit down at the big table with a glass of prosecco (or Thai beer!) to enjoy the fruits of your labour. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday and you genuinely do come away with new tips and tricks you can apply to your own home cooking. You’ll also be sent home with the recipes you learned to cook so you can recreate everything at home!
I’d definitely recommend booking yourself into a cooking class with MK Cookery School. With Christmas coming up a voucher is a brilliant gift idea if you know a budding cook! Bhav has lots of great plans for the future and we are also looking to collaborate on some Sophie’s Supper Club events, so watch this space…
Milton Keynes Cookery School is located in The Old Granary Brooklands Farm, Newport Rd, Broughton, Milton Keynes MK16 0HU. Day, half-day, evening and kids cooking classes are available for a variety of cuisines. Gift vouchers are available. Half-day classes start at £75 per person. To see the latest cookery classes and book a place, visit mkcookeryschool.co.uk.
Have you been to MK Cookery School? What cuisine would you love to learn to cook?
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