I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures from my previous Bangkok Travelogue.
Having talked about my solitary adventures, the highlight of my trip this time round though, transcends what any other regular tourist would have included in their itinerary –unless you’re here for a culinary learning experience.
If you’ve been following me closely on Instagram, you would probably have seen snippets of my visit to Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School.
(Pictures in this post are all taken using the iPhone 4S, so pardon the quality of images!)
Le Cordon Bleu is a prestigious network of educational institutions dedicated to providing the highest level of culinary and hospitality training through world class programs, with campuses around the globe including Paris (France), London (UK), Madrid (Spain), Australia, Japan, Korea, Wellington (New Zealand), America and Bangkok (Thailand).
Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School is a joint venture between Le Cordon Bleu International and Dusit International – one of Thailand’s leading Hotel brands – opened in 2007.
To briefly introduce the courses available, there’s the Classic Cycle Programme, Professional Thai Cuisine, The Art of Bakery, Wine Studies, Barista workshops and more.
The Barista workshop is an 18-hour course designed to provide the skills and knowledge of making coffee, including necessary instructions on storage of coffee, and cleaning, care and maintenance of machinery.
The Art of Bakery Course is taught by Chef Guillaume from France, who will teach classic French, Italian, German and American breads as well as a variety of classic French and European baked goods such as puff pastries, croissants, danishes, pretzels and scones to name a few.
There are four intakes for this 10-week course: January, April, July and October.
Here’s a ‘behind the scenes’ shot, where the necessary ingredients are prepared before classes commence.
The classrooms and workstations are kept spick-and-span, without having the students do the chore!
Courses are taught in English, supplemented with a Thai translator alongside for Thai students. There is a slightly higher ratio of Thai students to International students, although most of them converse in English throughout the campus.
Now this, the visit to Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School, is the highlight of my Bangkok trip, much thanks to Suchada Sthapitanonda (PR & Marketing Director) for arranging this, and Chef Rapeepat Boriboon (also known as Chef A, whom I met in Singapore during an event) for inviting me to join your classes.
On my first visit, I sat in for a banana leaves sculpting class, which is part of the Thai Cuisine Programme.
The school is poshly furnished on the whole, with furniture in classrooms well maintained in mint condition.
Before the class commences, there is the prerequisite checking of personal hygiene.
Stepping into the culinary scene, there’s more than just the cooking aspect. Food presentation is one important aspect that the finest chefs can never overlook.
This is the end product that’s to be accomplished by the end of the class. Such a pretty basket isn’t it?
The helpful instructor goes round to make sure students are on the right track, offering assistance whenever needed. It’s not all stern and utterly sombre though; it is evident that students enjoy interacting with the friendly instructor, as much as the instructor enjoys mingling with them.
The crafting of the basket is time-consuming, and this workshop nurtures patience and precision.
Day 2 of my visit – I sat in Chef A’s Thai Cuisine cooking demonstration, where he prepared 3 dishes: Roasted Duck Breast Red Curry, Steamed Fish with Peanut Sauce, and Young Coconut Jelly.
The demo classroom is well equipped with video cameras that display directly on live screens, and a large pane of mirror reflecting the tabletop so students get a clear view of what the chef is doing.
Look, I took notes!
The recipes students are provided with do not come with the cooking methods, therefore it is up to the students to take notes and pay careful attention in order to replicate the dish in the following practical class.
Steamed Fish served with Peanut Sauce
Roasted Duck Breast Red Curry
Students get to sample the dishes at the end of the class! A very sweet student offered me a sample too. Thanks!
I wasn’t supposed to be eating anything spicy as I was feeling under the weather, but this is highly irresistible! I’m so going to try cooking this at home with whatever limited notes I took down.
The Young Coconut Jelly is presented on the basket made out of banana leaves, which the students learnt the previous day! Such a majestic presentation isn’t it?
The cooking demonstration takes place from 8.30am till 11.30am, followed by an hour’s break, before students step into the practical classroom to replicate the dishes that they’ve learnt.
It was a spectacular experience visiting this prestigious school I’ve heard so much about, much less joining the classes as a guest. What an honour!
What I love most is the friendly and cordial environment, where everyone is so polite and enthusiastic. Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School is where true professionalism meets amiability.
For more information, visit their website at www.lecordonbleudusit.com.
Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School
946 The Dusit Thani Building, 1st Floor
Rama IV Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500
Tel: 02 237 8877
(Nearest BTS station: Silom)