We were the first travellers to visit Suwannee since the Covid lockdown and we were so glad that we did. Suwannee was a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic hostess who did not just show us cooking skills but was the consummate guide, telling us so much about Thai and local life in Chiang Rai. We could easily have spent a lot more time talking to her.
The trip itself started with her picking us up and taking us to the local market. She is clearly a popular and well known person in the community judging from her interactions with the stallholders. While we were at the market we got to try some foods that we probably wouldn't have asked for ourselves. Despite the fact that we have lived in Thailand for two years and have been regular visitors to our own market we still learned a lot from this part of the day.
We were able to choose the dishes that we wanted to cook and once we had all our ingredients it was off to Suwannee's house for the class itself. Her house is very beautiful, with many fruits, herbs and vegetables growing outside which we were able to incorporate into our cooking. We learned how to make Som Tam (papaya salad), Red Curry, Tom Yam soup and mango/ sticky rice. My girls are not big on spicy food so we were able to adjust to suit our tastes.
The time went extremely quickly and before we knew it we had full satisfied tummies, great conversation and plenty of inspiration for future cooking. One of my daughters said that it was the best thing that we had done on our month-long holiday. I'm looking forward to being cooked for more when we get back!