I walked into the Sweet Basil shop in North Scottsdale at 6:25 on Wednesday evening. The cooking space only had seats for 15 people which guarantees every class to be small. Our teacher, Patricia, is a private chef as well as cooking instructor at the school. She had a thick Brazilian accent, so listening to her was a lot of fun and reminded me of my cousin, Sylvia.
My friend Chelsea and I had decided to take the class together. We put on our aprons and sat down as Patricia demonstrated some of the ingredients needed for thai cooking such as kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, lemongrass, tamarind paste and galangal (a milder form of ginger.) I learned how to julienne and also how to properly clean a squid - which is admittedly, a bit gross.
After Patricia gave us a quick run-down of the recipes, we divided into groups of 2 and started our assigned recipe. Chelsea and I made a Salmon and Shrimp Pumpkin Yellow Curry. I feel like now I understand why people on cooking competition shows get so nervous. This was in no way a competition, but cooking an unfamiliar cuisine for people I didn't know diminished my cooking self confidence. I felt nervous about how to cut ingredients or how to complete the first part of the recipe. However, Patricia and the kitchen assistant quickly put us at ease.
|Stirring the yellow curry.|
|Our presentation. Possibly use less lettuce garnish next time.|
After all the dishes were prepared, we lined them up on the counter and treated ourselves to a thai buffet.
Sweet Basil also included a glass of wine with the meal. The coolest part: I didn't have to wash any dishes! I loved learning how to cook Thai food and I'm searching for my next cooking class adventure.