Explore Local Food with Chef Tutu: A cooking course by Hillkoff Learning Space
When you see the name Hillkoff, you think of coffee; and rightly so. They have been the quiet force behind the creation of Chiang Mai’s coffee culture, with their experienced teams reaching out to restaurants, hotels and coffee shops and offering coffee based consulting and training services for decades.
Now Hillkoff is branching out and expanding its horizons, turning their focus to food as well as coffee. Joining forces with the well respected and creative Chef Tutu, the man behind the well-received Kamphaengkaew restaurant at Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum, the Hillkoff Learning Space is now offering a number or unique and interesting cookery courses for people of all skills and abilities.
What sets this cooking course above the rest is the choice of food you are able to learn, prepare and enjoy. Starting officially this January, they are launching an exciting three dish course of traditional local appetisers and side dishes that transcend the usual pad Thai and fried rice dishes being taught at other schools.
Citylife was lucky enough to be invited to try out the course first hand, learning how to cook, perfect and present three dishes: fruit mieng with grilled prawns, tom yum cheese fondue and deep fried pork balls wrapped in crispy noodles.
Traditionally, miang is a combination of sweet and savoury ingredients that are wrapped in a betel leaf. Chef Tutu’s version however was served open, on a bed of orange, apple, pomelo and topped with grilled prawns.
“The dishes I teach look difficult, but are actually very easy to make,” said Chef Tutu half way through the course. “I want to show people that dishes that look complex are often very easy to create, whatever your ability.”
The tom yum cheese fondue was less traditional and more of a fusion dish, but with the current cheese trend booming in Thailand, it was super popular…and secretly our favourite dish of the day. The last dish of deep friend meatballs with a noodle coat – moo sarong – was exciting and we were even taught how to make that clear cucumber and chili relish you often see served with that type of side dish.
Chef Tutu and Hillkoff have many more recipes, techniques and tricks to share and will give those who want to learn a choice of what they will be doing, depending on the season and the latest recipes they have created. For 3,000 baht a person, the cost is higher than other schools, but what is on offer certainly makes up for the cost. With a professional chef talking you through each step, encouraging you to learn not only how to prepare the food but how the flavours complement each other too, you can pick up much more than how to fry up a bowl of noodles.
The course is also open to groups at a discount, and children-friendly courses are also available offering basic and cooking skills and teaching dishes that are safe while helping to teach your children how to use kitchen equipment safely.
To find out more, or to book onto a course, contact the Hillkoff Learning Space directly.