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Cooking up an explosion of flavors

By Valerie Ng | | Updated: 2014-11-19 07:31

Cooking up an explosion of flavors

Chef Ann explains the different vegetables. [Photo by Valerie Ng/China Daily]

I frequently have cravings for Thai cuisine. The thought of the strong flavors of hot, spicy, sour, sweet makes my mouth water.

So it is with much delight and excitement when to find out that Indigo Pearl, the place that I am staying for my vacation in Phuket Island, runs Thai cooking classes for guests.

There are two options to choose from. Program One includes a visit to a local market to shop for fresh ingredients for the dishes we will learn to cook, while Program Two covers only the cooking class without a trip to the market.

Two of us choose Program One even though it means waking up early and we are glad we did. Another two participants – a mother and son pair – join us at 10:00am under Program Two.

We assemble at 8:00 am, after a sumptuous buffet breakfast and are introduced to Chef Ann, who has been with the establishment for 20 years – when it was still known as Pearl Village Hotel. Indigo Pearl was established in 2007, after a rebranding and revamping exercise.

The bubbly cook welcomes us to her elaborate kitchen, which has six islands, complete cooking facilities and dining tables. Our menu for the day, she explains, is a four-course meal which includes the classic Thai green papaya salad, popular green or red coconut curry chicken, famous Phuket stir-fried egg noodles and not-to-be-missed deep-fried banana Thai style for dessert.

Out chauffeur drives us to the nearby Thalang (the name of the northern district of Phuket Island) wet market. Hail from Thalang herself, Chef Ann plays the role of an excellent tourist guide too.

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