Lucy Aitchison is thwacking a stalk of lemongrass with the side of a cleaver. A trainee surgeon from Sydney, Australia, she has grabbed the opportunity to attend a cooking class with a Thai chef while in Bangkok for a conference. “I don’t have much time to cook at home,” she says. “I was keen to do this class because you can learn much more from locals than by watching a TV cookery show or reading a cookbook.”
The class started with the teacher, Chef Goong Sreesopon, handing Aitchison and the other participants a wicker basket and taking them to buy ingredients at a market, where the stalls are piled with a rainbow array of fresh fruit and vegetables and the seafood is so fresh, it’s still swimming.
Sreesopon explained how to select the right piece of chicken for a particular dish (yellower skin indicates the meat is relatively tough, but highly-flavored) and choose the freshest eggs (pick the ones with rough-textured shells).
The attendees booked their lesson through Cookly, which calls itself the world’s largest cooking class platform. The company, which offers more than 1,000 classes across 150 destinations in over 30 countries, was established in Bangkok in 2014. CEO Benjamin Ozsanay moved there from Berlin that year. “I was looking for adventure,” he says, “and was attracted by the digital nomad lifestyle.”
Question: Do you like this idea? Which cuisine would you like to learn how to cook?