Chef Alyssa gives Thai food a Twist on Tour – The Market Experience
Chef Alyssa gives Thai food a Twist on Tour - The Market Experience
During our fun and foodie-licious tour with Expique, one of the highlights was the cooking class at the Flower Market with instructor, Alyssa Hanpongpandh.
Bangkok Foodies were curious to know more about Chef Alyssa, her experience as a cooking tour instructor and the sort of Thai dishes with a “twist” we may come to expect on the tour.
NAME: Alyssa Hanpongpandh
Experience: 15 years as a chef including running restaurants in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Scandanavia
OCCUPATION: A professional Thai chef and Culinary Director (Head instructor at The Market Experience. Also runs home cooking classes and cooking escapes via Food and Art by Alyssa.
BKF: What made you decide to become a Thai food chef?
AH: After 3 years working with to launch House & Cuisine magazine in Shanghai, China, I opened my own online Thai food delivery called ‘ Thai Food Station’ in Shanghai in 2004 with my Shanghainese partner and working as the main chef and managed my own food blog in China.
After that I continued opening 3 small restaurants in China, HK and being guest chef in Europe.
BKF: You focus on Thai food, but with a Twist? Please explain this a little more?
AH: Thai cooking with a twist is the new concept of making Thai cooking class inside the Bangkok Flower Market interesting by combining the old style of Thai cooking with flowers with the recipes that is popular for tourists in Thailand.
Starting with a royal snack like Miang Kham with the old style of wrapping in lotus petals which is used mostly to show the respect to other people. The creative menu by our chef team for seasonal fruit salad, Yam Polamai. Thai red/green curry with lotus stems and Phad Thai Anchan with butterfly pea flowers and banana flowers
BKF: What do you love about teaching tourists about Thai cooking?
AH: I taught a lot of non Thai chefs to cook Thai food overseas for 12 years. It is different when I am now working as the foodie guide and Thai culinary instructor to the tourists; they are travelers from different walks of life.
I love that I am not just only teaching but sharing the history and story behind each Thai dish that I teach and help the tourists who attend the cooking tour being able to cook Thai dishes at their home country and memory of how the local market in Thailand can be much fun instead of a culture shock!
BKF: Do you find most people find it difficult or easy cook Thai food?
AH: Not with my class as every dishes is created with the ingredients that available at Bangkok Flower Market where there are so many selection not only fresh flowers, but also all kinds of meat, vegetables, fruits, and desserts.
With my experiences cooking overseas for a long time, I share the knowledge of finding and cooking Thai food and ingredients simply at their home country after having cooking experience with us.
BKF: What are their favorite things to cook?
AH: So far from our survey is the seasonal fruits salad with lime dressing and minced pork, Thai garlic paste. It is practical to do at their home with their own seasonal fruits and simple to cook with the colors to play with.
BKF: Why do you think they enjoy the most about your Thai cooking class?
AH: When they cook curry with different options: we teach how to cook with both red and green with bean paste and shrimp paste, combined with the authentic way to cook Thai curry with twist of lotus stems.
BKF: What is the funniest thing that happened in your Thai Cooking class?
AH: When suddenly the vendors is singing and dancing with the folk, Thai song and dance then the whole 7 clients starting dancing with me before finishing the dishes
BKF: What are your favorite Thai restaurants to eat in Bangkok?
AH: See Fah restaurant, the oldest Thai-Chinese restaurant in Bangkok. I grew up as Thai-Chinese and had the memory of the best Thai-fusion Chinese at the old days like this restaurant-80 years.
The list of the menus like Kao Man Gai-Hainanese Chicken rice, Gooi See Mee, crispy egg noodle with mushrooms, onions and soy bean sauce, list goes on. It is good price, delicious, and many choices for original Thai food and Thai food that adapted from Chinese recipes that cook from Chinese family in the old days.
EXPIQUE TOUR: Thai cooking with a Twist
BOOKING CONTACT : 098 398 9214