Thailand culinary course + tropical goodness smoothie

unnamed-25I’m in Thailand!! I’m going to be here for 1 month, to follow a raw vegan culinary course from Matthew Kenney Academy. It’s a well known culinary school based in Venice, Los Angeles, but keeps getting bigger and opening new locations in the world. There are different courses, but the founder, Matthew, is mostly famous for his raw vegan dishes and all courses are plant-based.
I’m staying in a beautiful resort (Evason six senses) for the entire stay about three and a half hours south of Bangkok, near Hua Hin. It’s a quite area, but I’ve been so busy with the course since I got here, last Sunday, that I’ve gone out exploring only once briefly. Plus, it’s a five-star resort (I didn’t know until I got here) and it’s very big and beauuutiful. Class is from 7 50 till 2 30/3, with a small 20/30 min break for lunch, so when we are finished we are all quite wiped out, especially this first week, since we are not used to standing for such long time.
This month there are only 5 students plus the 2 teachers, all different nationalities.

Yesterday morning  I went to an early market ( 6 am ) to grab some coconuts to have later in the weekend. It was super local and great to see new things. I saw some weird vegetables that I want to buy and try before I leave. We only had 30 minutes before going back and getting ready for class. One of the things that intrigued me the most was these small coconuts all white externally, which is different from seeing them fresh and green. I guess they roast the coconuts and what happens inside to the coconut water is it becomes coconut milk. Can’t wait to try it.

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morning market
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bamboo, limes, herbs
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coconut stand
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rice noodles
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flower necklaces

 

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sticky rice in banana leaf
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resort’s pool
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visiting the resort’s organic garden
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the academy’s kitchen
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mushrooms at the market- many varieties

This past week we made so many recipes, I can’t believe it. Also we had the possibility of making our own recipe for a smoothie concentrating on the core (liquid part) and using superfoods, which was fun and gave us the opportunity to experiment and use some of the best pantry ingredients.
Every day we make at least 4/5 recipes, for the same day or preparing for the following and putting in the dehydrators. So far I am so enthusiastic about everything. The utensils and the kitchen is of last generation and I am learning new tecnhiques.
The smoothie I made was inspired by the tropical environment, and really came out great.
I can’t share the recipes we are making but I’ll post some pics of what we are doing.

It feels so great to start to understand how to work in a professional kitchen, the fast movements, the continuous cleaning and sanitizing, plating (!!!), flavor balancing and so on.
There are 3 levels one can take, on site or online. Another course that I’m really interested in is the plant-based cooked course, which is going on next to our kitchen and everyday we share our finished dishes with the other students and oh boy, they’re good.

Apart from the cooking experience, there’s also such a nice positive vibe going on between students and teachers. I don’t know if it’s the relaxing and natural environment surrounding us or if it’s the delicious and nutritious food we are having, or probably a mix!

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Ingredients (for 2 servings):
-1 and 1/4 cup frozen mango
-1 cup frozen banana
-1 and 1/4 cup almond milk
-1/4 cup coconut water
-1/2 tsp freshly grated turmeric (or dried ground)
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp maca powder
-pinch of salt
-serve with: 1 tsp chia seeds and some bright-colored edible flowers.

Place allingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve with some chia seeds and some pink or other color flowers.

Below is a picture of the 4 different smoothies we students made: mine, a coco-rasberry one, a mint banana-something else one and a green juice. We then did a sample try of each one.

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Here are some of the dishes we prepared in week 1:

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