Spice Spoons, Phuket, Thailand
Before you ever step into the open-air kitchen with views of the Andaman Sea at Anantara’s Spice Spoons vacation cooking school to make addictive Massaman Beef Curry or sweet Sticky Rice with Mango, you’ll visit a local market to explore some of the region’s more unusual ingredients. Expect to see hand-shaped galangal, long beans almost a yard in length, tiny egglplants the size of a thumb, and a rainbow’s worth of spicy peppers. It’s the latter you should ask for assistance with as you create a delicate Tom Kha Gai coconut chicken soup; but luckily the instructors here are well versed in, well, spice. Here are seven authentic Thai recipes you can make at home.
El Pueblito Cooking School, Mayakoba, Mexico
Rich mole, smooth guacamole, and refreshing ceviche are some of the authentic Mexican dishes on the menu at charming El Pueblito Cooking School. Located in picturesque Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya, the vacation cooking school also offers classes that you won’t find elsewhere, such as an Insect, Agave, and Cocoa Workshop (crickets for dessert anyone?) and Patron tequila mixology (yes, you can drink the results of your final test). Down the road from the school is the Fairmont Mayakoba, the perfect place to continue you Mexican culinary adventure at one of its restaurants overseen by star Latin chef Richard Sandoval. Brush up on these common Spanish phrases before you go. These are mistakes you’re making in the kitchen that chefs wouldn’t.