Good friends of mine were getting married on a tropical island in Thailand and I volunteered myself to the task of organising the wedding rehearsal event. Socialise being the underlining word here. Everyone was travelling from different parts of the world and meeting for the first time. Whatever the idea, it had to negate any awkwardness before the big day!
To organise an event to be held in a different country was at first an overwhelming task, where to start and who to contact? I thought a dinner was too formal for our group and the moment I mentioned the golden word ‘wedding’ the price seemed to jump. As I researched from my desk in Perth trying to orchestrate an event outside of the normal wedding traditions I was surprised to find there was actually a plethora of activities on the island. I was even more surprised with the quick turnaround of responses. I initially thought I would struggle to come up with an entertaining idea but I came up with five brilliant ideas that even we had a hard time selecting.
IDEA ONE – LUNCH AND TEAM BUILDING GAMES
Lunch at the Anantara Bophut Hotel, run down of the wedding day (speech by the Bride and Groom) followed by a couple of basic team building games on the beachfront of the hotel such as make a sand castle competition, throw the egg and the three legged race. The winning team wins a prize.
Thai Buffet Lunch $65.00 per person or International Buffet lunch $65.00 per person
IDEA TWO – FOOTBALL GOLF & LUNCH
A morning game of Samui Football Golf in two teams, 18 holes over 1km. Teams can even try and beat the record of the football golf world cup! Winning team is bestowed a prize. Return to the hotel for a refreshing drink and sit down over lunch. Everyone pays for what they order, no need for any catering. Run down of the wedding by the Bride and Groom.
650 thai bht for a game.
IDEA THREE – COOKING CLASS
A private afternoon cooking class followed by sharing a meal together afterwards. Run down of the wedding by the Bride and Groom.
IDEA FOUR – YOGA & LUNCH
A relaxing Yoga class in the beautiful setting of the Anantara hotel in Chaweng followed by lunch at the tree top restaurant. Run down of the wedding by the Bride and Groom.
IDEA FIVE – BREAKFAST & MINI GOLF
Start the morning with a champagne breakfast at the hotel. Run down of the wedding by Bride and Groom. Then off to a game of 9 hole crazy golf! Winning team is bestowed a prize. Return to the hotel for a refreshing drink and sit down over lunch. Everyone pays for what they order, no need for any catering.
THE WINNER – SITCA Cooking Class
It was a tough decision but the bride and groom were happy with the cooking class idea. It seemed like the perfect activity for the wedding party to meet and get to know each other before the big day. A fun environment, the activity would also be a touristy one for those that nave never been to Thailand and the best part, we would all enjoy eating together afterwards at no extra cost.
Our host was the sweet natured Roongfa and she was assisted by two staff members who distributed the ingredients, made sure our drinks were full and the air conditioning cold for the duration of the afternoon class. We were all given a binded book of the recipes. We would be making a green curry paste (Kruang Gaeng Kiaw Waan) and 3 popular Thai dishes. There were two stages of the class, prepare at the main table and then cook on the stove top with the wok. Everyone worked with their own ingredients, tools and equipment.
The Thai dishes we would be whipping up over the next couple of hours included;
Green Curry with Chicken (Gaeng Kaiw Waan Gai)
Coconut Milk Soup with Chicken (Tom Kha Gai)
Fried Noodles with Prawns (Phad Thai Koong Sod)
The fresh ingredients were partially prepared and measured up for us, the easiest cooking I have ever done! We finished up the preparation under the guidance of Roongfa, at times she would give us some individual advice. Roongfa was engaging and entertained us with some lighted hearted humour, I found myself writing notes to her words of culinary wisdom. She knows food in and out, detailing the process of preparation and the ingredients commonly found in Thailand and why they are used in the dishes, most I had never come across until then. We were introduced to the Thai varieties of ginger and eggplant, very different in appearance and taste to the ones back at home. We cooked with soy bean oil and tasted shrimp paste, fish sauce and coriander root.
This class will have you learning new techniques and a few valuable tips I took home from Roongfa;
- The starch in a raw potato creates a thick sauce for curry
- Cut lemon grass on an angle
- If you boil lime juice it turns bitter, hence why it is listed at the end of the cooking process
- There are different types of ginger, in Perth Chinese ginger is commonly found in supermarkets
- Kaffir lime is different to to the standard lime, do not substitute
- Interestingly chili is not just used in cooking for it’s spice it is used for colouring a curry as well. Only cook for 1 minute to keep the colour
- Soy bean oil is good for deep frying tofu, it removes the harsh flavour
- Green chili is stronger, I had a sneaking suspicion of this
- White peppercorn is a black peppercorn with the skin removed. Feeling silly I did not know this!
- Use Fried garlic for BBQ marinade, it is tasty
- Refrain from cooking the curry for long periods
The three hours flew by as we prepared our meals and for a group of people from different countries we were not short of conversation having a common topic – the cooking class! We definitely bonded during the class and the best part was eating afterwards. The meals were absolutely delicious! The portions of food were exceptionally large and participants are encouraged to invite guests to help eat afterwards. Please do invite friends and family!
I had no idea what to expect but it was one of the best experiences in Koh Samui. It was an interesting and carefully executed class, everything ran incredibly smoothly considering we were a loud group and spent a bit of time laughing and poking fun at each other. It is the most organised class that you will ever go too! You come out learning not one but three dishes plus a curry paste made from scratch. Not to boast but we all nailed the dishes!
We paid the deposit via paypal. Make sure you print off the receipt from Paypal, as this is proof of the booking. Email responses were a little slow.
Afternoon Thai Cooking Class • 4:00 pm • Cost: 2,250 baht per person
The minimum number for a group is 10.
46/6 Moo 3 Chaweng Beach
84320 Koh Samui, Suratthani
‘SITCA’s Thai cooking classes are taught in modern air-conditioned facility. Everyone is equipped with their own burner at the stove, and everything needed for a complete hands-on experience. You also receive a cook booklet which is yours to make notes in and keep. When the meal is ready we eat together Thai style in the elegant setting of our dining room. We purchase all our produce, fish, and meat daily from the local market, and your efforts will produce some of the best cuisine you will eat during your stay in the Kingdom.’ – Quoted directly from the Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts website
Read the Tripadvisor reviews here.