How to Learn Balinese Cooking
Whether you have just checked in to a honeymoon suite or family accommodation, Bali offers all manner of enticing activities to fill your schedule ranging from water sports to cooking classes. Once an overlooked activity, Balinese cooking classes are now growing in popularity as more visitors want to delve deeper into the unique cuisine of the island. Spend a day reveling in the delightful mix of flavours Bali has to offer!
Decide on what you want to cook
If you are staying at a centrally located resort in Bali such as the Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa, you would be tempted to simply look up cooking classes close by. The first thing you should do is narrow down what you want to learn. This may involve stepping out of your hotel and sampling a large range of local delicacies and finding something that you cannot leave the island without learning how to make. The cooking classes available offer a wide range of menus and some classes offer unusual recipes such as cashew wine making. There are even vegetarian Balinese cooking classes available!
Decide on the experience
Balinese cooking classes are more than simply spending time among the pots and pans in the kitchen. Most classes often include trips to traditional market places to allow visitors to get a better idea of the ingredients used and where they come from. They also teach visitors little tips and tricks on how to select the best Balinese ingredients for their dishes. Other classes offer more immersive experiences where attendees have the once in a lifetime opportunity to hop on to a jukung outrigger and land a catch or drive cattle along as they plough the fields. Some classes are set in normal professional kitchens decked out like a traditional Balinese kitchen, skillfully combining modern amenities with traditional design. Others have a simpler offering with a more rustic feel.
Select your teacher
There are many different types of teaching styles available. Visitors could attend classes run by former executive chefs of five star resorts or even chefs trained under Gordon Ramsay. You should expect an enjoyable and rigorous time because lunchtime is not only an opportunity to taste your handiwork but it is also assessment time by your instructor. These formal cooking schools also issue a certificate in recognition of your effort and you will find that you pick up many transferable techniques from these professionals. There is also the opportunity to learn at a traditional diner or, as it called in Bali, a ‘warung’. These are family run enterprises and cover more homemade cuisine with a focus on organic produce. There are also more traditional Balinese cooking schools with a focus on cooking as a medicine, where you can delve deeper into Balinese culture and history.
Location and sign up!
Travelling to the classes are generally not a problem as most offer transfer services from popular tourist points, such as Nusa Dua, or pick you up straight from the hotel. Now that you have narrowed down which sort of class you wish to visit, it is time to sign up and indulge in culinary delights.
Step Five — Before You Leave.
It is always worth a visit to a traditional market, even if it is not part of your class. Apart from the opportunity to get your hands on some fresh spices, you can also invest in buying some traditional utensils. Basket steamers, stone based mortar and pestles and a varied assortment of earthenware are all available to find a place in your kitchen. Once you have mastered the elements of Balinese cooking, you will take a small piece of the island home with you.