Portrait : May, a chef, a cooking teacher and an entrepreneur

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A strong woman, passionate about cooking and who knows what she’s talking about !

I’m so glad I had the chance to meet May. I was looking for a cooking school in Chiang mai among the 1500 possibilities for tourists when I found Thai secret cooking school‘s website and the key words I was looking for : Farm, outside of Chiang mai, organic, family. And the website wasn’t lying, after harvesting our herbs in the garden of the school, May shared with us all her secrets with a clear and firm voice like a michelin star chef would have done in his kitchen, answering all our “whys” and giving details on the “hows” with clear and logical steps.

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May is in her 40s, she’s thai and she learned cooking with her mother when she was young and that she was stuck in the garden grating coconut with her brother instead of playing with her friends. Even if she had a university degree she quickly decided to follow her heart and worked in a kitchen. After a few jobs as a chef, a 3 years experience in France near Castelnaudary, she came back to thailand and opened her cooking school where she lives with her husband, Jason, an american chef who left part of his life to live the south east asian dream. They take care of the garden together and share the different tasks to manage the school (she’s the teacher, he is the administration), perfect match.

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Does this story ring a bell? Well, yes, it seems that I met the asian version of myself in 10 years ! And trust me, I’ve been really inspired by this discovery.

The kind of secrets that May shared with me are :

  • How to make homemade coconut milk
  • How to make curry paste… Indeed, in Thailand, currys are not powders you can buy at the market. A curry is a paste you make at home everytime you need it (soon on the blog, stay tuned)
  • How to use a wok with the example of the stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts recipe… so delicious !
  • How to smartly use the thai flavours and how to use the herbs and roots like coriander, ginger, galangal, lemon grass, kafir… Sauce like soya sauce or fish sauce or paste like curry paste or fish paste…
  • How to fold a spring roll :

This day was in the end a very pleasant and useful day for me that allowed me to finally understand the basics of thai cuisine. Together with the few days I spent with Kim in Vietnam, I can now end my south east asian adventure with the feeling that I reached my goal.

To be followed…