Thai Culinary Adventure: Chiang Mai Cooking School

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Steph’s note: This is the second installment in my recap of the Thai Culinary Adventure I took with Paleo Nick and 18 other fantastic friends. Read Part 1 here and Nick’s recap of our trip here.

When I last left you, our train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai was lumbering through the darkness of the Thai countryside. Daylight broke, and we were greeted with the sight of trees in every conceivable shade of green…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Cat checking out the local sights as we stop to hook up another engine…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Curious little dog…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Jesse without his face behind the camera for once…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Nick reciting his Thai numbers to this guy…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Another couple hours, and we arrived in Chiang Mai (about 48 hours after starting out on our trip). In case you’re wondering if the train option is right for you, here’s my honest opinion: If you don’t mind being mildly uncomfortable for 14 hours, the lack of fancy toilets, the potential for bugs, or want to save some money…go for it. If you want to get to Chiang Mai as fast as possible or want only the best accommodations, take a flight instead.

Welcome to Chiang Mai…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

We lugged our bags out of the train, stuffed ourselves into two vans and drove to our home for the next week, the Eco Resort just east of the Menam Ping river. It’s walking distance to the old city square and the markets. I definitely recommend it! We settled in and took advantage of the free day to get some food and amble around.

Eco Resort loves you…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Famished, some of us opted for lunch as soon as possible which turned out to be directly across the street from Eco Resort at a tiny, family-run restaurant called Inpoo Food Shop. We tucked into perfectly spiced red curry, silky Pad Thai, and other favorites while we recounted the long journey from Bangkok.

I heart this soda water…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

A soft-spoken Thai woman and her husband, Som and Payute, run the eatery and cook outside on three small propane stoves. They’re truly lovely with warm smiles and big hearts. We ate there several times over our trip, and Nick even arranged a special event there. (More on that in future installments.)

Som’s kitchen…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

That evening, we strolled the night bazaar and the following day was our visit to Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School. Chef Thanapon Punya picked us up and took our bunch to the Sam Yaek Market, where we got a lesson in Thai ingredients. Here are some of the sights from the market…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Scrubbing coconut meat before it gets shredded…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

All the rice…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Cutting rice noodles…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Fresh veggies…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Chef Thanapon quizzing us on Thai produce (we did okay)…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

More veg…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Stalls selling all manner of things…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

All the lemongrass…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Smiles from Nick and Noura…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Butchery…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Yes, that’s a fried grub. I ate two…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Cleaning fish…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

We were in Chiang Mai for the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. These are kathrong, offerings floated down the river during the festival. They’re made of banana trunks, palms, flowers, candles, incense and other decorations. We saw them all over the markets in Chiang Mai…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Fishies…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Weigh in…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

So many colors…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Cutting green papaya for Som Tam Thai (Green Papaya Salad)…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

…and cooking school…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Banana leaf cups for Khanom Kluay (Steamed Banana Cake) (gluten-free)…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Wok handles…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Prepping ingredients for Tom Kha Gai (Chicken Coconut Soup)…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Cooking Gaeng Phed Plaa (Red Curry with Fish)…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Plated red curry…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Chrisann helping make sticky rice…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Phad Hed Ruam Khao Pod Orn (Mushrooms with Baby Corn)…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Prepping the banana cakes…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Cooking the soup…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Plated green papaya salad…

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

The whole gang from the Thai Culinary Adventure!

Thai Culinary Adventure—Chiang Mai Food & Markets | stephgaudreau.com

Stay tuned for the next installment of our Thai Culinary Adventure!

Non-watermarked photos courtesy of Anderson York.

Questions? Leave them in the comments below!

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