Attending a cooking class is a fascinating opportunity to understand more about a country’s culture and society. Learning how to prepare iconic and symbolically important dishes is one of the best ways to discover what makes a nation tick.
Red Bean Classic at La Siesta Hotel & Spa in Ma May Street has been guiding guests in the intricacies of Vietnamese cuisine ever since 2014. An average of 15 classes run a month with a choice of two traditional menus. Recent hotel guests, husband and wife Allan and Diane Blampied signed up for an afternoon class. Selecting option 1, featuring traditional beef Pho noodle soup, Hanoi deep fried spring rolls and Bun Cha, Chef Hoa guided them on their culinary journey.
Strolling the old quarter streets, they made their way to iconic Dong Xuan’s wet market. Here Hoa showed Allan and Diane how to select the best produce and bargain like a local. With Hoa translating, they chatted to, and mingled with, the stallholders asking questions about the wonderful colorful ingredients as well as sampling some common and not so common products.
Ingredients for dinner bought, they headed back to Red Bean. Donning chef’s hats and aprons they looked the part as they became chefs for the afternoon. At their workstations, Chef Hoa guided Allan and Diane in how to make each dish. They learnt how to peel, chop, mix and blend the ingredients and judge when consistencies, texture and seasonings were correct. Making spring rolls is a tricky thing to do but Hoa’s instructions made it easy while Vietnam’s iconic Pho beef noodle soup was divine. Once all the dishes were prepared, Allan and Diane were shown how to add the final touches of accompanying garnishes and the correct way to serve each dish. Time to sit down to dinner and savor the delights over a glass of wine and local beer before Hoa presented them with a parting gift and certificate. “We came away with a newfound appreciation and understanding of Vietnamese cooking and it was a pleasure to be taught by Hoa who is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable,” said Allan and Diane.
If you would like to sign up for a class, please contact reception.
Red Bean cooking class:
1 person 65 USD$ pp
2 people 55 USD$ pp
3 people 45 USD$ pp
Children over 12 years’ old –adult price
Under 12 years 15 USD$ per child (must be accompanied by a parent)
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