There is truly no quicker way to immerse oneself in the culture of a strange new land than to indulge in the foods native to the area. New tastes, new textures, often completely new ingredients all together; nothing teaches us more about a group of people than the foods they eat. While simply dining out in Bali can provide a colorful experience in and of itself, there are those adventurous souls who still crave more from their island experience. If this sounds like you, allow us to suggest participating in a Balinese cooking class during your holiday. With literally dozens of classes available all over the island, we are confident that you can find one to suit your skill set, your tastes, and your time frame.
Popular Bali Cooking Classes
Paon Bali Cooking Class, Ubud – One of the island’s most popular classes, the Paon Bali cooking class, is offered twice daily throughout the year. Depending on your itinerary, there are both early morning and late afternoon classes available, and both are very reasonably priced. The classes take place in a lovely “garden kitchen,” which happens to be located in the personal home of the chefs who teach the class, which allows for a lovely, intimate setting. Of course, you will be using only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients available. This class is ideal for English speaking guests who have an interest in learning about Balinise food preparation from garden to table. Not only will you venture into a local market where an instructor will help guide you through selecting your own ingredients, you will also travel to a local rice paddy to learn about the agricultural practices native to the area. This class is consistently voted one of the best in Bali and with very good reason!
Payuk Bali Cooking Class, Ubud – Another excellent option in the Ubud area, the Payuk class is similar in style to the Paon class, in that students are guided to a local market and assisted in picking out their own locally grown ingredients, before being welcomed into the instructor’s home for their lesson. In addition to just preparing a traditional Balinese meal however, you will also have the opportunity to make coconut oil, your very own traditional Balinese spice paste which is used as a base in numerous meals, traditional Balinese coffee from locally grown coffee beans and finally, you will have the option to participate in preparing a sacrificial offering to the Gods before beginning your meal.
Bumbu Bali Cooking School, Tanjung Benoa – Similar in style to the previously mentioned classes, Bumbu also allows guests to venture into a local market and guides them as they select local ingredients to use for that day’s lesson. However, Bumbu takes the experience to the next level by then taking guests down to the water to select fresh seafood as the fishing boats come in to dock. With a long list of dishes on the day’s menu (20 separate offerings!), students get right to work upon returning from the market, preparing both breakfast and lunch in the traditional Balinese style. Bumbu cooking school usually hosts between 15 and 20 participants in any given class, but private lessons and even cooking contests are available upon request.
Anika Cooking Class, Kuta – Another excellent option is the Anika cooking class, which offers a more varied class schedule to accommodate all manner of guests. With classes offered throughout the day, it is important to check the class website before making your reservation, as the menu changes from day to day in terms of what students will learn to prepare. The morning classes all begin with a tour of a local market, before returning to the classroom for an instructional demonstration. Afterwards, you will participate in an 8-hour traditional cooking course, where you will prepare up to nine different Balinese dishes, as well as one traditional dessert. Yes, it’s a long day but trust us when we say there’s no better way to familiarise yourself with this aspect of the local culture than to dive in and “get your hands dirty.”
So, as we mentioned, if you crave more excitement and hands on experiences during your Balinese holiday, you absolutely cannot go wrong with a cooking course taught by a local instructor. Those mentioned here are just a taste-to whet your appetite so to speak-of all the incredible options available on the island. If you desire more information, please allow a Ministry of Villas concierge to help you find the perfect course for you!