The foundation of the Stir Crazy cooking school was built on my own travelling experiences to various countries, where I would indulge myself in the foods and flavours of the countries I was visiting. This is where I learned so much about the differences in types of food, their combinations and even the subtle differences in flavours when preparing and cooking the same foods slightly differently. Travel has always been my journey of exploration into food – from the colour of each item, the fragrance, the taste and of course where it originated. I’d always savor what was around me and imprint the experience as a lifelong memory of my senses at the time.
One of my favourite culinary experiences was not so much about the taste of the food but the setting and how it was experienced. While I was wandering the streets of Thailand, occasionally passing street vendors selling everything from boiled eggs to roasted bugs, one vendor on the island of Koh Samui stood out in particular, not because of what he was cooking, but the way he was cooking it. He was clearly having fun and had a broad grin on his face, I suspect partly because he had a crowd of people around him which would ensure sales for him that day, but also because he looked like he absolutely loved what he was doing. I also noticed that one dish in particular was being ordered more frequently than others, which was obviously his specialty. I waited for the crowd to thin and moved over to order this special dish from him.
He was preparing a form of Pad Thai, which included bamboo, beans sprouts, chickens trips and loads of chili, garlic and other Thai delights. It was delicious, and today still remains one of my favourite meals I asked for the recipe, but he couldn’t speak a word of English and i really wanted the recipe, so we started communicating in sign language. I eventually got all the ingredients down through pointing, feeling, asking and verifying names which we could both understand, and eventually walked away with the recipe. This was the first recipe I ever used in my Thai cooking classes, and always goes down a treat. These special moments in life are often made through travel.
We’re now offering cooking classes to Thailand, Greece and Italy, scheduled for the latter part of 2017. Sign up now and receive notifications about the itinerary and when the trips will take place.
Brett and the Stir Crazy Team