Cookery classes are fast growing in popularity all over the planet and Vietnam is no different. Vietnamese cuisine is of course renown throughout the world. The use of fresh herbs, spices and vegetables are legendary. Here are ten excellent cooking classes that can be booked and enjoyed. I have tried to cover the country and have chosen the venues not simply for the cooking classes but also for the venues and the locations. All are different and all are special. If you are thinking of booking any trip for a group of friends check out the Group and Pay website here. Its a great way to get a group trip started.
So, in alphabetical order of location here are 10 of the best cooking classes in Vietnam:
The Ana Mandara Villas Resort and Spa is a truly magnificent building set in delightful countryside on the outskirts of the mountain town of Da Lat. They run up to two cooking classes per day. The morning one commencing at 11.00am and the afternoon at 3.00pm. Couples need to book up to four hours in advance and groups of three or more need to give a day’s notice. Prices come down the larger the group, but do not include the visit to the local market so make sure that you check this before booking. The classes take place either in the hotel courtyard or by the pool. The venue is the real star of the show, this place is amazing.
For more information checkout their website: http://anamandara-resort.com/download/cooking_class_programs.pdf
La Maison 1888, offers a rare opportunity for travellers lucky enough to coincide their trips with those of world famous French chef Michel Roux, who visits four times per year, to conduct cooking classes personally. The hotel is the Son Tra Peninsula, and is a short drive from three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The magnificent 197 bedroom luxury Danang resort is real 5 star luxury all the way. Cooking classes are of course held all year round in both French and Vietnamese cuisine, but the opportunity to work with one of the most iconic chefs on the planet does make this an extremely special opportunity indeed.
For more information checkout their website: http://danang.intercontinental.com/Michel-Roux
Orchid Cooking Class & Restaurant is to be found at 25 Hang Bac, in the Hoan Kiem District of Vietnam’s capital city. They offer 5 different menus for you to cook. The classes are held every day in the morning from 9.00am to 12.00 noon and afternoon from 3.30pm until 6.30pm. They can cater for classes of between 2 and 35 people. They are an interactive and fun way to learn new cooking skills and experience all that Vietnamese cuisine has to offer. You get to prepare dishes under the guidance of experienced chefs whilst working at your own work station. Each workshop concludes with eating the meal that you have prepared, accompanied by local beer or wine, in their lovely dining area. All guests then receive detailed recipe cards and a certificate to take home.
For more information checkout their website: http://www.cookingclass.vn
Ms Vy’s Market Restaurant and Cooking School is located at 3 Nguyen Hoang Street, An Hoi Islet, Hoi An, Vietnam. Ms Vy’s cooking classes capture the essence of traditional Vietnamese cooking. Her market offers a wide choice of street foods and specialties to visitors. Guests enjoy first hand, how their favourite Vietnamese foods are made, from the selection of individual ingredients to the final meal. As Ms Vy puts it, “My idea was to provide an interactive experience where customers could gain a better understanding of the cooking culture in Vietnam. Everything here is made fresh to order, just like in the actual real market, except here our guests can really see how the ingredients and dishes are prepared. We explain to customers about why we use certain techniques or combine certain ingredients together to create the unique flavours of a dish; giving them an invaluable Vietnamese food experience that they really couldn’t have elsewhere.”
For more information checkout their website: http://msvy-tastevietnam.com/the-market/
Villa Hue Hotel at 4 Tran Quang Khai in the town centre offers cooking classes in their superb hotel, under the tutelage of their chef. This beautiful 12 room hotel offers training in hospitality and management to students of the HueHospitality School. It is close to the Perfume River. Guest meet in the lobby of the hotel and change into their chefs uniforms then learn how to cook local dishes. The food from Hué is generally more spicy than in the rest of the country and is known throughout Southeast Asia. The classes are informative and enjoyable and give an insight into the city’s unique cuisine.
For more information checkout their website: http://www.villahue.com/facilities-services/cooking-class
The Mekong Riverside Resort and Spa offer cooking classes at the centre located in the heart of the delta close by Cat Be. This is a delightful setting in which to learn about the unique style and flavours of Mekong Cuisine. You start the trip by picking the herbs and vegetables from their own garden. You will learn how to make three classic local dishes:
Pork and Prawn Spring Rolls: You can dice the ingredients, mix them together, and roll your own.
Coconut Basil Chicken cooked with Rice Wine: This begins by roasting garlic in a pan, and is finished by simmering in a clay pot.
Mekong Style Rice: The ingredients are mixed together and wrapped in a lotus leaf, this retains all of the flavours and keeps the rice sticky and sweet.
For more information checkout their website: http://www.mekongriversideresort.vn/Dining-in-Vietnam/Cooking-Class
The Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa is a wonderful oasis of calm set by the sea on the southern coast of Vietnam. Mui Ne has become a popular retreat for Saigon’s middle classes as it is within easy reach of Vietnam’s largest city. The Anantara Mui Ne Resort & Spa offers a tropical retreat, worlds away from Vietnam’s urban bustle. The cookery classes teach the secrets of Vietnam’s world-renowned cuisine. Chop, mix and blend ingredients before preparing your favourite Vietnamese dishes then enjoying the flavours of each creation. At the end you can take home a souvenir of the recipes to share with family and friends.
For more information checkout their website: http://www.anantara.com/luxuryforless/?gclid=CPrprcnxqcICFdgnvQod6DsAew
Lanterns Cooking Classes are held at 34/6 Nguyen Thien Thuat, in the city. They are a bit different, the emphasis is definitely on having fun. The day starts with a cyclo ride to Xom Moi Market to select the ingredients, and take a short tour round the market. Then you head back to your cooking station at the restaurant, to learn all about the local cuisine, cook your meal under the guidance of their chef and enjoy the eating. You also get to support a very worthy cause indeed. Lanterns looks after many local orphanages and provides food to poor locals from outside their restaurant on one day every week. Their school scholarship program, now in its second year, provides school tuition fees for about 200 children, each are guaranteed 10 years education.
For more information checkout their website: http://lanternsvietnam.com/content/cooking-classes
The Vietnam Cookery Centre on the 4th Floor of 26 Ly Tu Trong in the heart of District 1 in Saigon’s business district has been in operation since 1999. It is open every day between 8.00am and 6.00pm. From their large terrace you get an unique view of an area that real estate developers call the “Golden Triangle”. Cooking classes for tourist start at 8.20 where guest will be taken first to the world famous Ben Thanh Market, nearby. Built in 1930 it was one of the last buildings erected by the former colonial rulers. Here you will experience how to recognise the very best of local herbs, fruit and vegetables. You will be accompanied here by their chef and a tour guide. They operate a different menu each day meaning you can simply choose your favourite then decide which day to go. Though for parties of more than 14 people, they will tailor the menu to fit your requirements.
For more information checkout their website: http://www.vietnamese-cooking-class-saigon.com
The Hmong Mountain Retreat Cooking School is located at Ban Ho in Sa Pa,and is a popular class that operates daily from 9.30 until 3.30pm. The natural beauty of the area and the superb local cuisine make this a rare treat. The retreat is a tranquil paradise consisting of a large stilt house, a 70 year old Hong House and 5 rammed earth buildings. These stilt houses are rare, due in no small part to the fact that the thatched roof uses up to 40,000 palm leaves. The classes are excellent value and in their own words give you the chance to, “Bury your face in a bouquet of fresh mountain basil, shower exotic spices over your freshly wok fried dish and savour every bite”.
For more information checkout their website: http://tet-lifestyle-collection.com/sapa-cooking-school/