Sammy’s Organic Cooking School
On my last day in Chiang Mai, I heeded some advice I received when biking with my boy Martin and attended Sammy’s Organic Cooking School. Sammy picked everyone up early in the morning in his pickup truck, us lounging comfortably in the back. After a drive to the local market, he showed us how coconut milk is made from the coconut pulp and we purchased some of the ingredients we would be using that day.
We didn’t need to purchase much because the class is held on an exceptional organic farm a half hour from town. Limestone mountains rising up out of the rice fields signaled we were getting close to the farm, and a short while later we pulled into the garden. The garden is full of different herbs and vegetables, all grown in an organic and sustainable manner.
The cooking started using a mortar and pestle to create a jungle curry paste. My tolerance for spice has skyrocketed, so I loaded mine up with freshly picked small red chili peppers. We then proceeded to cook the ingredients for the jungle curry dish, constructed a spicy seafood som tum soup, and whipped up the classic chicken pad thai. They all tasted incredible with the farm fresh ingredients and Sammy encouraged us all to take an hour long siesta in his hammock compound in the middle of the garden. With my bursting belly content, I slipped into a coma as soon as I started swaying in the breeze.
After our siesta we cooked some som tum khung (spicy papaya salad, one of my absolute favorites). To cap it all, we made some pumpkin custard that is prepared by squeezing the liquid custard through pandanus leaves for natural flavoring before steaming the liquid into a gelatin. All in all, the food and experience was incredible, but the highlight was the restroom.
That’s right, Sammy has the most notorious toilet in all of Chiang Mai. It is a nice, western porcelain toilet set within it’s own garden. Bamboo walls surround the garden, preventing any spectators from watching your performance as unobstructed sun provides natural light. No need for air fresheners as a slight twist to the right provides a full blast of flowery freshness.
Sammy’s definitely got you taken care of, both with eating and the ensuing results.