On our recent trip to Bali we wanted to do something together as a family. Husband looked at me suspiciously when I suggested a Balinese cooking class, but didn’t have a better counter proposal. Without any of the usual background research and vigorous combing through travel blogs, I took the old-fashioned road and asked the hotel reception for a recommendation. Thankfully we hit the jackpot!
A friendly driver picked us up at the hotel, and delivered us swiftly for an evening of cooking at Chef Mudana’s small cooking school adjacent to a small restaurant he also runs.
Chef and his jolly team had done a lot of the prep-work of our 7-course Balinese meal in advance, but there was enough chopping for all of us to do to get our hands dirty with the fragrant local ingredients.
We started by preparing the ever important spice mixes.
The kids of course enjoyed the hands-on approach of the team, and learnt a lot about traditional cooking methods at the same time. I particularly enjoyed sitting back and letting other family members to get on with the food prep!
Chef Mudana and his young crew were a fun lot, and we had time to chat about the food and life in between all the chopping and stirring. They were great with kids, making it a fun evening for all of us.
The kids were given special tasks, like forming the lemongrass chicken drumsticks, sate lilit ayam, stuffing the chicken and all-important flipping and stuffing the pandan crepes, dadar gulung, for dessert.
A word of warning is in order: there is a lot of food! I am sure this is the same with all cooking classes in Bali and elsewhere. With all the tasting along the way, we hardly had space for all the courses of the delicious food. Less spicy options were made for the kids, but even so many of the dishes ended up too spicy for our two. There was still easily enough for them to eat, and they did try everything they had helped to cook.